I really enjoyed listening to this podcast interview with Bill Porter, who goes under the author name of Red Pine. (There’s a transcription as well so you can read it too).
Bill has had an interesting life, as you’ll discover from the podcast, most notably going to China to interview hermits living in near isolation on mountains in search of The Way. His most famous book is about this: Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits.
I particularly enjoyed his description of translation work as being like trying to dance with a skilled dancer when you can’t hear the music.
In his translation work he’s perhaps most famous for his work translating the Buddhist poet Cold Mountain.
I found a collection of Cold Mountain translations here. They’re not by Bill, but by A. S. Kline. I like them all the same:
Where’s the trail to Cold Mountain?
Cold Mountain? There’s no clear way.
Ice, in summer, is still frozen.
Bright sun shines through thick fog.
You won’t get there following me.
Your heart and mine are not the same.
If your heart was like mine,
You’d have made it, and be there!