Poem Without A Category

Trailing my stick I go down to the garden edge,
call to a monk to go out the pine gate.
A cup of tea with my mother,
looking at each other, enjoying our tea together.
In the deep lanes, few people in sight;
the dog barks when anyone comes or goes.
Fall floods have washed away the planks of the bridge;
shouldering our sandals, we wade the narrow stream.
By the roadside, a small pavilion
where there used to be a little hill:
it helps out our hermit mood;
country poems pile one sheet on another.
I dabble in the flow, delighted by the shallowness of the stream,
gaze at the flagging, admiring how firm the stones are.
The point in life is to know what’s enough–
why envy those otherworld immortals?
With the happiness held in one inch-square heart
you can fill the whole space between heaven and earth.

— Gensei


About this poem

Poet(s): Gensei end

One Comment on “Poem Without A Category”

  1. Adam Kemerer

    I thoroughly enjoy this poem. It uses very vivid imagery to describe a simple yet surreal setting. Though I usually tend to enjoy poetry that is rhythmic, this poem uses a free verse style that flows well and is easy to read. The abundant usage of adjectives helps this poem to be actively visualized in the reader’s head, making for a more personal and in-depth reading of the poem. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the poem is that the message I observed from it is to enjoy the simple things in life, in order to fully enjoy life. Gensei’s Poem Without a Category truly lives up to its name, being a simple introspective observation of life.


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