Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

You Stop To Point At The Moon In The Sky

Taigu Ryokan 1758 – 1831

You stop to point at the moon in the sky,
but the finger's blind unless the moon is shining.

One moon, one careless finger pointing --
are these two things or one?

The question is a pointer guiding
a novice from ignorance thick as fog.

Look deeper. The mystery calls and calls:
No moon, no finger -- nothing there at all.

Font size:
Collection  Edit     
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

19 sec read
84 Views

Taigu Ryokan

Taigu Ryokan was born in the Echigo (now Nigata) Province of northern Japan in 1785. The son of the village headman -- a successful merchant and haiku poet of some note -- Ryokan was schooled in Japanese and Chinese literature as well as religion and calligraphy. When he was eighteen years old Ryokan met the Zen Master Kokusen and accompanied him to the Entsu-Ji temple in Tamashima where he became a Buddhist monk. Ryokan excelled at his monastic studies and was offered the position of head of the monastery when Kokusen died. But he rejected both the position and the title of Master, electing to instead wander the countryside of Japan, begging and writing poetry. He eventually moved into a hermitage (called Gogo-an or 'Five Measures of Rice') at the foot of Mt. Kugami where he lived for the remainder of his life.  more…

All Taigu Ryokan poems | Taigu Ryokan Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Taigu Ryokan poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "You Stop To Point At The Moon In The Sky" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 25 Jul 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/43517/you-stop-to-point-at-the-moon-in-the-sky>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    More poems by

    Taigu Ryokan

    »

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    When's the World Poetry Day is celebrated?
    • A. 21 April
    • B. 21 March
    • C. 12 March
    • D. 18 December

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »