Chinese literature creativity humor

“reading”: a funny poem for students of all ages

Yang Wan-li Heaven My Blanket Earth My Pillow



When I read, I work hard at it,

but that makes me tired and dizzy;

so I put my book down and meditate–

then the book and I both forget about words.


When I feel like it, I flip the book open–

suddenly I’ve come to the Source of the Sages:

if I say this is enlightenment–

basically there is no enlightenment;

if I say this is the Mystery–

there has never been a Mystery.

It’s just a moment of happiness

when I find a passage in harmony with my mind.

But who creates this happiness?

It isn’t me, and it isn’t Nature…


What a laugh! All my theories are wrong!

I throw the book down beside my pillow.


by Yang Wan-li (Chinese poet, 1127-1206), Heaven My Blanket, Earth My Pillow


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s