The Analects of Naneun (Pt. 4)


Part Four of the English translation of the first few pages of my work The Analects of Naneun (ナヌンの論説: “nanun no ronsetsu”). For more information see Part One.

(Each analect is to be meditated upon for many hours and days, rather than read momentarily like poems. Thus I encourage you to read a single one and stop for at least a few minutes to contemplate it, and let it seep into your subconscious; let the kotodama arise within after your eyes have received it).


naka; core
soto; horizon
one speaks of both
un-melted snow then,
A poem.

Matsukaze; her sad, sad world
non-self cuts
the green tongue
of the world.

Damn! What an ego.
As plump as a
Chamo-e melon
“I am…”
just wild geese honking

phrase of loneliness
into Osaka’s sky
ghost hiding in an
empty bell
I sing, alone.

Ippen; dreamt
the poem of
600,000 people
salvation is certain!
even for this vain season?
this Daniel of retreating years?

my; other
another, this,
that, more…
this stupid page is
becoming soup.

messiah void;
the truth?
the horse poem praises the moon
koto plucks her harp
and the world is so unsure…

what word to use?
what is certain
in my floating days?
rice never changes
Its mind!

It was like this.
The moon ran away
before we could finish
our colorful

sashimi sits
stark naked
chopsticks approaching…

this book?
that book?
anything can change
anywhere is fine
everybody dies

©1999 ダニエル・シュネー

©2017 Daniel Schnee


15 thoughts on “The Analects of Naneun (Pt. 4)

        1. Sometimes one must use culturally translate a word or else it will not work in English as a metaphor. The phrase “in one ear and out the other” and/or “pearls before swine” is understood in Japanese context as “like a Buddhist prayer whispered in a horse’s ear” (uma no mimi ni nembutsu). Melon will work for my purposes. 🙂

            1. I am always booked up two years in advance, thanks to the music industry being REALLY tough for a solo artist to survive and thrive. Life is a 24/7 business meeting and every day is an airport for the modern saxophonist. But my return to Jeju is now being discussed by my people. The word is out… and they are beginning the calculations…

        1. As I read your comment I inadvertently read the name as Rothko… and mused to myself “Holy crap! I am being compared to the painter Rothko (who I assumed must have written something you have read that I have not)… Awesome!!!”

          I have never read/heard of Theo Roethke until right now! I have never studied or read poetry to any real depth, so I will check him out pronto. Thanks for the reference! 🙂

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