In painting it’s catching the “spirit” and “essence.”
In poems that’s “nature” and “feelings.”
An elegant dragon, with its life’s breath gone?
Better a rat, with some scurry left in him.
Yuan Mei (1716 – 1798)
Translated by J.P Seaton, Shambhala Anthology of Chinese Poetry, 2014.
A short poem that invites re-reading. The way the last line runs away….you try to grab it by the tail, and miss, and start again. Poem chosen by Innes McNicol.