Blue Cliff Record
by David Rothenberg
“It is astonishing how thousand-year-old riddles are brought here to evocative poetic life. David Rothenberg converts them into contemporary verbal music, an arcanum, a profound secret, a mystery without intellectual solution.”
—Frederick Franck, author of The Zen of Seeing, The Buddha Eye, and other books
Much as Coleman Barks breathed new life into the work of the great Sufi poet Rumi and reached the hearts and minds of contemporary readers, David Rothenberg now brings us vividly poetic new versions of the enigmatic koans and riddles from the classic Zen Buddhist text, the Blue Cliff Record. Blue Cliff Record: Zen Echoes is an accessible contemporary distillation of this twelfth-century treasure of Zen Buddhism, a lively feast of words and images designed to stretch and open the mind.
With a foreword by poet, author, and translator Sam Hamill.
“David Rothenberg’s adaptation of Blue Cliff Record is that rare thing, a work of art that is also useful. It is as bracing as a dive into a cold spring–a wake up call from reality–the splendor of what is.”
—Mark Rudman, winner of the National Book Critics’ Circle Award for Poetry and author of Rider
“What is unique and wondrous about these poetic responses to the Blue Cliff Record is that here philosophy, spiritual practice and creativity are fused and whole. Each poem remarkably celebrates the Zen past and at the same time builds the foundation for a new interpretation that helps imagine how we, here and now, can live the Dharma on these shores.”
—Charles Johnson, winner of the National Book Award in fiction for Middle Passage