Book VI Summer Serialization

Mogao Caves, Dunhuang, China

Book VI of The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem, now available:


“After an arduous journey from Bagan, Burma, up over Lhasa, Tibet to Dunhuang, China, Sun Wukong, the Persona’s able guide, having traveled a different route with Xuanzang, sets down before the Mogao Caves. From there, Sun Wukong takes the Persona to Chang-an, where Du Fu leads him up the many stairs of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Bai Juyi lifts him up to Mt. Tai and the Azure Clouds, imbibing the beverage of the Three Vinegar Drinkers, savoring its harmonizing nature. Heading east, into the rising sun, past the Kingdom of Silla, ancient name of Korea, to the mountains of Lake Biwa, where Basho and Saigyo rested from their long journeys. Like much of Japan, the view of the lake has changed since Basho was interred at the Temple of Gichu-ji on its southern shore. Basho teaches the Persona the oneness of his vision, a Vinegar Drinker in his own way. Saigyo lifts the Persona back to his great metaphor, the moon.”

“In pre-dawn darkness I awoke, realizing
where I was, slipping away under the grove
to the riverside, leaving Sun Wukong
who seemed asleep in a tree above me…”

For further pictures of the Mogao Caves, see the ones I took in 1994: Mogao Caves, Dunhuang, China 

Frederick Glaysher

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