Poems Written While Asleep, Daoqian (1043-1114)

The traces of dreams are hidden on the shelves of the archives, among the manuscripts. There are poems written long ago. Then, the soul would get up out of the sleeping body and wander between worlds. Sometimes, a dreaming soul composed a poem, placing the right words in the right order. When the dreaming person woke, they might record the words written by their dreaming spirit.


“8th month, 17th night: A Poem Written in Dream”

At midnight, when there is no one to be seen on the autumn river,
Green lotuses hold up gleaming dew for
River Divinities and Water Immortals to drink together.
They leave a handful to revive my spirit.

– Daoqian (1043-1114), from Canliaozishiji fascicle twelve

[From the project, “Poet-monk: Daoqian”]


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