I thought it would be interesting to include Wang Wei's original version of "Twilight Comes" for comparison's sake.This is another Kenneth Rexroth translation. Wang Wei lived from 701 - 761 during the T'ang Dynasty, one of China's "golden eras." It was during the T'ang that Buddhism had its greatest impact on Chinese thought and culture. At the end of his life, Wang Wei actually became a Buddhist monk

Twilight Comes

Twilight comes over the monastery garden.
Outside the window the trees grow dim in the dusk.
Woodcutters sing coming home across the fields.
The chant of the monks answers from the forest.
Birds come to the dew basins hidden amongst the flowers.
Off through the bamboos someone is playing a flute.
I am still not an old man,
But my heart is set on the life of a hermit.

- Wang Wei

Back to Soul of the Garden/Inspiration