JAPANESE DEATH POEMS
Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death
Source: Yoel Hoffmann (1937-)
Died on the twenty-seventh day of the first month, 1568 at the age of eighty-nine
My whole life long I’ve sharpened my sword
And now, face to face with death
I unsheathe it, and lo–
The blade is broken–
Died on the twentieth day of the second month, 1387 at the age of sixty-one
Look straight ahead. What’s there?
If you see it as it is
You will never err.