A sonnet from the 'Fair Youth' series that was occupied with themes of aging, passing time and the transience of physical beauty.
A death poem was composed on one's deathbed, with the aim of encapsulating the understanding of impermanence at that moment.
The acceptance of the fundamental changing, impermanent nature of the world is at the heart of Buddhist philosophy and is a constant theme through Pema Chodron's teachings. When things fall apart, when the ground is pulled out from under us, it is not a cause for panic, but rather a cause for celebration.
The pinpoint perspective of the present moment can feel so sharp but ultimately always impossible to fathom and out of our reach. As Erich von Hungen writes, it is simultaneously hard and soft, early and late, tiny and all-encompassing 'like a pocket-sized Big Bang.'
This sonnet by American poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay is addressed to a lover and to the latent sense of impermanence and loss built in to all moments when one becomes conscious of great love or great happiness.
Arthur Sze's postmodern poetic style includes elements of Taoist and Zen philosophy written in a deeply observational style. Influenced by William Carlos Williams and Chinese poets like Bei Dao, Arthur Sze's work can be a difficult but rewarding read.
Joshua David Stein on the humble and historical marshmallow, and what it teaches us about desire and impermanence.
Fourteenth century poet Hafiz is one of Persia's most celebrated poets. Not so much is known about him, and it's thought that only a small portion of his prodigious work survives. At first glance, many of Hafiz's poems read like heartbroken laments, penned at closing time after a rowdy night at the tavern. However, they… Continue reading On the Lip of Oblivion We Linger – Hafiz
Waka is a Japanese word for poem that surfaced more than a millenium ago to differentiate the Chinese kanshi poems from the work of local scribes. A waka can have a long or short form, and the short ones can often read like haikus, a poetic embodiment of transience. This short one was written by… Continue reading Dogen’s Waka on Impermanence