The Charm of Music • 1930


Nothing is settled, there is nothing that is not like the chess-board;
All living things resemble a drunkard
And like the figures in a chess game, forward or
backward, they cannot mater themselves, left
or right
Alas that is the saints and the virtuous who have
organized the theory of the right and wrong
Who speak to us of a pity for men and of
heaven’s sorrow
But that is not a remedy for us who are alive
And they say that grass, that wood has no spirit, that
fish, that the animals have no spirit
That heaven has given a spirit only to man
But I think that when a man is eaten up by a
crocodile he soon has no spirit left
I wonder whether the crocodile eats the man’s spirit
with the man until nothing is left
And this is what I meant to ask: does it not
become a new idol’s heart?

When the sun sets behind a yellow rainy evening the
earth is scraped clean and pure.
Some among men are promoted to the estate of dragon or
tiger: O you, do not therefore exalt Buddha nor cheapen
The worth of Christ:
The religions, eastern and western, remain as they were.
These: Not to domesticate only to tame animas,
Not to permit these animals to start at one, and
when they do,
Not to seem def, not to seem mad –
I am in my studio, playing the crying and laughing
While all these fly and walk and crowd about.

Whatever masterpiece I play, the tones themselves
subsist as living beings.
Any cat is the rat’s enemy,
But the two together read verses just as the poet does
Just as the god of us who are also gods . . .
where has my sermon gone? I cannot
face that golden bottle from which my
heart bids me drink –
You know that the tiger, too, has a god:
Tigers pray to Heaven before they eat men.

If all this I say is against God
I kneel before you
Forgive me.


Additional poetry and writings can be found in Yun Gee: Poetry | Writings | Art | Memories