I Have Nothing to Report, a poem by Ryokan Taigu



My hut lies in the middle of a dense forest;
Every year the green ivy grows longer.
No news of the affairs of men,
Only the occasional song of a woodcut tree.
The sun shines and I mend my robe;
When the moon comes out I read Buddhist poems.
I have nothing to report my friends.
If you want to find the meaning,
Stop chasing after so many things.


– Ryokan Taigu


(from Pleasures of Nature, A Literary Anthology, edited by Christina Hardyment)

(Photo: Buddhist patching his robe. Pinterest)



Ryokan Taigu (1758 – 1831) was a Zen Buddhist monk with a great sense of humor. He was famous for his poetry, his calligraphy, and his eccentricities.


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