The poetry of Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee was an accomplished poet who not only wrote his own work but translated the work of others. He was a man who took poetry so seriously that he even wrote an entire movie script (with the aid of Sterling Silliphant, the screenwriter of the Oscar winning In the Heat of the Night) based off of a poem that he composed. This poem, â€œThe Silent Fluteâ€, was even written into the titular script, set to be delivered as a final monologue for the hero, Cord (originally set to be played by James Coburn, one of Leeâ€™s famous Hollywood students). It concludes:
Now I see that I will never find the light
Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel,
Itâ€™s hard not to hear Japanese haiku master Kobayashi Issa in Leeâ€™s voice in the poem â€œNight Rainâ€
over the world
I fear to walk in my garden,
lest I see
a pair of butterflies
disporting in the sun
among the flowers.
Or the traces of Korean poet Yun Dong-ju in â€œBoating on Lake Washingtonâ€
When the clouds float past the moon,
I see them floating in the lake,
And I feel as though I were rowing in the sky.
Suddenly I thought of youâ€”mirrored in my heart.
I suppose itâ€™s not too surprising that the man who taught Steve McQueen martial arts and then went out for chilidogs and milkshakes with him was a poet, but the depth and complexity of his poetry is. Take, for example, the poem â€œAll Streams Flowing East or Westâ€ which follows the life cycle of a drop of water cinematically, accompanying the reader as the droplet descends a mountain, rolls over pebbles, nestles into a stream, settles into the ocean, grows into a wave, hammers into rocks only to finish â€œAnd with the final thrust the sun/ Throws wave upon the shore/ The jellyfish in weariness/ Nestles in a pool.â€ I donâ€™t know if I can get over the image of a weary jellyfish, let alone it coming from the dude who sat on a hood of a car with Steve McQueen eating cylindrical meats in quite possibly the most American image this article will see.
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0 thoughts on “The poetry of Bruce Lee”
Excellent essay. It is a little known fact that Bruce Lee was a poet. Is there a collection of his poems in circulation?
he’s the hero to the kid starting local karate classes because he’s getting whooped by popular kids for reading poetry