it is what it is

The flower invites the butterfly with no-mind;
The butterfly visits the flower with no-mind.
The flower opens, the butterfly comes;
The butterfly comes, the flower opens.
I don’t know others,
Others don’t know me.
By not-knowing we follow nature’s course.

Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf (Translated by John Stevens)

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14 replies on “it is what it is”
  1. says: terri

    Graphic sexual imagery! Why is it called Dewdrops on a Lotus when he’s talking about butterflies? ** Confused** This is why I stay away from poetry.

  2. I don’t think it is sexual imagery. The poet is describing unconditional acceptance of truth.
    On the other hand, he might be trying to explain to his father why he failed his exams.

  3. says: rads

    Naren: wrt terri’s comment, Of course it is what it is, and hence the title. The mind sees what the eye doesnt :-p
    lol@what your mind told you!

    Lekhni: It’s Zen Master Ryokan’s poetry. I found it appealing.
    Picture’s from Flickr. Some really good ones there!

    Terri: Poetry isn’t for literal, but lateral thinking. :-p
    That’s why there are tons of us (esp me!) writing nonsense all under the creative license poetry offers 🙂

  4. says: rads

    o btw, does anyone else see “possibly related posts” at the end of this post – and in ypur own respective WP blogs. Apparently it’s a new feature wp’s rolled out…

  5. says: Pavan

    nice poem, narendra’s point makes sense (it being zen poetry).. or something on the lines of : we should initiate dialog with no pre-conceived notions and so should the other person (or atleast thats how nature intended it to be)

    PS: Before I ask where is the flower in the pic, you would say that the butterfly took it and if I ask where the butterfly is, you would say it flew off.

  6. says: Saagar

    “By not-knowing we follow nature’s course”

    Interesting quote, ignorance is bliss, but then, did nature lead the course of science towards its own environmental destruction..

  7. says: rads

    Saagar: Ignorance is bliss only so long right? I doubt”not-knowing” is the same as ignorance in this context. I’d probably project it to “not plannning” ..

    Pavan: Yep. That’s how I read it too. 🙂

    WT: It is right? I loved it. 🙂

    sb: You wouldn’t believe this, but was listening to 1942 as I posted too!

  8. says: CW

    Lines 3 & 4..whoever says it evokes absolutely no sexual imagery at all raise your hand.

    Rads- yes, been seeing the related blogs-feature for a coupla days now.

  9. Professor Shenoy, M.A.(Oxon) will annotate this versse for the benefit of the general public.

    The flower invites the butterfly with no-mind; (Butterfly is an MBA)
    The butterfly visits the flower with no-mind.(Flower is an MBA too)
    The flower opens, the butterfly comes;
    The butterfly comes, the flower opens.
    (In computer terms, this is 10 GOTO 20
    20 GOTO 10)
    I don’t know others,
    Others don’t know me. (You are at the wrong wedding reception, baby)
    By not-knowing we follow nature’s course. (By not-knowing, we also fail Math 101)

  10. says: A

    By not-knowing we follow nature’s course.

    …And we follow smiles and tears but still remain alone.
    Alone among the knowns around;
    Alone looking out the window.
    That one window – but lots of dreams, whoozing past,
    Leaving within some whimsy discomfort,
    But still we remain that flower and the butterfly –
    With no-mind, with no-rules, with no-stasis…

    Hope these lines remain as readable as the lines in your post. Thank You.

    +Keep The Faith.

  11. says: rads

    A: Nice lines! Thank you 🙂

    Naren: LOL! You sure are being useful around the blogworld aren’t you? 🙂

    CW: I know this must sound outa character for me to say this, but here I am raising hand 🙂

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