Only Apricots Fall In The Autumn Wind, Five Songs On Korean Zen Poems

Only Apricots Fall In The Autumn Wind, Five Songs On Korean Zen Poems

Quick View

Scoring

-

Instrumentation
Mezzo-Soprano, piano
Alternate Title

-

Year Authored (or revised)
Duration (min)
11:00
Movements
1. On the Bank of a Stream
2. The Dream of a Butterfly
3. On Hearing a Pipe
4. A Fisherman’s Song
5. Mountain Life

Detail

Description

Only Apricots Fall In The Autumn Wind, Five
Songs On Korean Zen Poems,
for voice and piano is based on
poems that I selected from Because of the Rain, A Selection of Korean Zen
Poems
, compiled and translated into Korean by Daljin Kim, and then
translated into English by Won-Chung Kim and Christopher Merrill. 

In the Translator’s
Preface
Christopher Merrill writes, “what these poems offer is a
distillation of Zen doctrine and practice, glimpsed through a Korean lens… a
form of compression akin to the aphorism… a style of thought congenial to the
contemplative life, a music that depends upon stateliness and surprise…”

I
wanted to express these qualities through the music and perhaps touch with
sound the meaning, which, as Mr. Merrill later writes, is “like the waves of
moon light that ripple across the sea and vanish into the scrollwork of the
solitary monk.” The titles of the songs are
1) On the Bank of a Stream; 2) The
Dream of a Butterfly
; 3) On Hearing
a Pipe
; 4) A Fisherman’s
Song
; and 5) Mountain Life

On
the Bank of a Stream by Taedun Temple

Choeui
Eusoon (1786-1866)

After picking herbs, I rest
on the bank of a stream

whose water is calm and
clear.

After rain, the wisterias
are clean,

the ancient rocks beautiful
in the clouds.

The new green leaves are
lovely,

and the falling flowers are
still charming.

Green rocks equal
embroidered folding screens,

blue moss replaces a silk
cushion.

I wonder what else is
needed for a life.

Sitting with my chin in my
hand, I forget to return.

It’s lonely, the sun sets
above the mountain,

and evening smoke rises at
the edge of the forest.

 

The
Dream of a Butterfly

Hurbak
Myungjo (1593-1661)

When butterflies dance
around the house in the East,

spring has already left the
house in the West.

Butterflies arrive when the
trees blossom,

and leave when fallen
petals cover the yard.

The falling petals and
departing butterflies are desolate

as me, with no place to go
after separation.

A spring wind would
bring back the flowers and butterflies

but my face in the mirror
will not grow young again. 

 

On
Hearing a Pipe

Buhyu
Sunsoo (1543-1615)

A cold wind hastens the
deep night.

From nowhere a sad pipe

adds to the wayfarer’s
loneliness.

Homesickness grows heavy.

Deep sorrow in the
mountains

and longing opening on the
moonlit snow.

Lonely, I sit immersed in
sadness;

only apricots fall in the
autumn wind.

A
Fisherman’s Song

 Jinkag
Haesim (1178-1234)

A small boat, a fishing
rod,

a straw raincoat, a
pipe–these are what I have.

I drop my line, which has
no hook–

how can I catch anything?

Innocent fish brush against
each other.

 

The mist-covered mountains
above the sea turn blue,

and from the frosted
oranges comes a strong fragrance.

Drunk on the moon, filled
with clouds,

I’m satisfied; never did I
dream

of idle glory and shame.

 

Far above worldly ties and
laws,

I spend morning and evening
easily, calmly.

I’m all alone, at liberty
within these four walls.

Following my own heart,

I travel freely from north
to south, east to west.

 

The sky has emptied itself
and is clear and calm,

its blue rippling through
the fog.

Water and sky are mixed to
the same hue.

I look at the boundless
line

and find the autumn moon,
the white flower of the reed.

Mountain
Life
 

Pyungyang
Ungee (1581-1644)

Since coming to Tongsung
Hermitage,

Every day brings delicious
things.

I plow the soil to plant
tea trees

and build a pavilion to
look at the long mountains.

I read sutras by the bright
window

and meditate on a koan, on
the night chair.

How can busy people know
the pleasure

of leisure outside the
dusty world?

Choeui Eusoon, “On the Bank
of a Stream by Taedun Temple,” Hurbak Myungjo, “The Dream of a Butterfly,”
Buhyu Sunsoo, “On Hearing a Pipe,” Jinkag Haesim, “A Fisherman’s Song,” and
Chimi Sucho, “Mountain Life” from Because of the Rain: A Selection of Korean
Zen Poems
, translated by Won-Chung
Kim and Christopher Merrill. 
Copyright © 2005 by Won-Chung Kim and Christopher Merrill.  Used with the permission of White Pine
Press, www.whitepine.org.  All rights reserved worldwide.           

Comments

-

First Perfomance
10/13/10, Faculty Recital, "Drunk on the Moon," Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Sarah Mantel, mezzo-soprano, Susan Wheatley, piano
Recording

-

Text Language - Non English

-

Text Source/Author
Choeui Eusoon, “On the Bank of a Stream by Taedun Temple,” Hurbak Myungjo, “The Dream of a Butterfly,” Buhyu Sunsoo, “On Hearing a Pipe,” Jinkag Haesim, “A Fisherman’s Song,” and Chimi Sucho, “Mountain Life” from Because of the Rain: A Selection of Korean Zen Poems, translated by Won-Chung Kim and Christopher Merrill. Copyright © 2005 by Won-Chung Kim and Christopher Merrill. Used with the permission of White Pine Press, www.whitepine.org. All rights reserved worldwide.
Ensemble Type
voice+keyboard
Genre/Theme

-

Files & Media

Audio

-

Video

-

Sample Pages

-

Purchase Options
Print & Ship
$14.95
PDF Download
PDF Price