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The University Buddhist Association of UCLA is an organization of students, faculty, and community members who come together to learn about and practice Buddhism. We're a non-sectarian Buddhist group that welcomes all Buddhists and non-Buddhist of all faiths and traditions.

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Buddhist poet wins the Keats-Shelly Award

As an English major, this is quite interesting. The poem he writes is about a boy who looks within himself and finds a mouse holding a picture of him. This idea, of the story within the story, one that loops infinitely with no particular ending, is such a wonderfully complexing idea. If you would like to read the award-winning poem, click the link below.

"The Keats-Shelley prize, an annual award for the best poem on a Romantic theme, has for the first time this year gone to an explicitly Buddhist poet, DH Maitreyabandhu.

....

He also pointed to Keats's refusal to accept Christianity on his death bed, despite attempts by his friend Joseph Severn. "Keats was very steadfast – a very Keatsian word - in not accepting that, and I think that was incredibly brave of him. It's always one of the things I've admired in him particularly, not just because I don't believe myself, but to hold the line when he had days left – there is something steadfastly humanitarian about him," said Motion.

....

Maitreyabandhu, who has been ordained into the Western Buddhist Order for 19 years, says his love of poetry began when a friend read him the first five verses of Shelley's Mask of Anarchy. "It was one of those moments when one discovers a new ecstasy, even a new calling. After that I read and re-read Shelley and Keats obsessively and used their poetry to explore ancient Buddhist themes," he said. "WH Auden says, 'The primary function of poetry, as of all the arts, is to make us more aware of ourselves and the world around us'. The same could be said of Buddhism. I approach poetry, in one sense as a distillation of peak experience, in another as finding meaning in the everyday – as such, poetry has become another strand of my spiritual practice."


Read full article and poem.

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