Lakshmi Iyer (India)

sizzling with
mundane noises…
my teapot

Comment: the scene that is offered to the reader –outlined in a rather simple language– actually reveals a Zen-like experience. The ‘mundane’ (zoku 俗), in fact, is a recurring term in Buddhist literature; the fact that the ‘sizzling sound’ of the teapot joins the noises of everyday life (without overwhelm them) reinforces the sense of unity that accompanies the whole scene, almost echoing the words of Eihei Dōgen (1200-1253), who once said: ‘In the mundane, nothing is sacred. In sacredness, nothing is mundane.’ Zen Buddhism is also the primary influence in the tea ceremony (cha-no-yu 茶の湯) itself; in this respect, a key role was played by the Japanese monk and poet Ikkyū Sōjun (1394-1481) first, and by the wabi-cha 侘び茶 Master Sen no Rikyū (1522-1591) almost a century later. The ellipsis placed at the end of line 2 enhances this continuity, creating at the same time a sense of waiting for the tea that is shared with the reader.

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