Eight-week course starting Sunday, Oct. 15
The interplay of poetry and Zen is inevitable: Poetry is a way of expressing the inexpressible; Zen is a way of exploring the inconceivable. In this eight-week online course, Hokuto Daniel Diffin Osho will explore the ways in which poetry and the Zen sensibility nourish and inform one another.
Topics will include the nature of poetry — why it predates written language and why it has so many forms and function; the challenges and rewards of poetry in translation; the use of poetry in religious traditions, especially in Buddhist sutras, gathas, and texts such as “Faith in Mind”; poetry and anti-poetry in koans; the use of “capping phrases” (jakugo) in koan study; traditional Zen-influenced poetic forms such as haiku and tanka, as well as the influence of Zen on Western poetry, especially modern American poetry.
We will explore the words of Zen masters Joshu and Ummon, the Chinese poets Wang Wei, Tu Fu and Han Shan, haiku and tanka of well-known poets such as Basho and Ryokan as well as lesser-known poets such as Hitomaro, classical Persian poets such as Rumi and Kabir, and Western poets such as Antonio Machado, Wallace Stevens, Jane Hirshfield, Rita Dove and Billy Collins.
Students will be encouraged (not required) to write and share their own poetry and to view poetry not as a solitary means of escape, but as a lens to examine experience, the mind, and the world.
The course will be held online each Sunday at 4 p.m., beginning on Sunday, October 15 except during sesshin on October 29, November 12, and December 3. Each class will last approximately 90 minutes. The fee for the course is $100 for Zen Studies Society members, $200 for nonmembers, and $50 for ordained. No one will be turned away for lack of funds; please contact the office for support. A suggested reading list will be provided upon registration. The deadline for registration is October 14. Registgration is closed for this event – we hope to see you in the future at New York Zendo or Dai Bosatsu Zendo or online.
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