Ode to Oriental Orchids

Yutang Lin

With green leaves slender to display postures elegant,
Standing on a clean end table, kindling sentiment.
Plain Mind is thy name with flowers simple and shade light;
Occasionally spreads its fragrance when people walk by.


Today I was translating poems and gathas in my Chinese book "Lan Xiang Ji" (Collection of Orchid Fragrance) into English. Thereupon I came across words in the preface that are in praise of oriental orchids, and hence I composed this gatha. Today happens to be Father's Day for the Chinese people. This gatha reminds me of the leisure activities of my late father who used to enjoy cultivating orchids, watching carps, listening to canaries, etc.

Written in Chinese: August 8, 1999
Translated: October 12, 1999
El Cerrito, California

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