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Poems

November 2012

"To be with a koan"

by Dick Allen

"To be with a koan,”
said the Zen Master,
"has nothing to do with Hamlet,
those old jokes about small pigs
or tiny villages,
bees and bee keepers. No,
to be with a koan,
you must get inside it
without forcing your entry.
It’s like you’re lemonade powder
dissolving in water.
Something other than you
does the stirring,
but there’s nothing other than you,
and after awhile, nothing stirs.”

Dick Allen's new volume of poems, Present Vanishing, has won the 2009 Connecticut Book Award for Poetry.


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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 31 November 2012, on page 28

Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com

http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/-To-be-with-a-koan--7472

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