Poetry and Being: Metaphor, Paradox and the Awakened Life


  • Al Zolynas United States International University, San Diego


Before I get into the substance of my talk I should say a couple of things about myself and where I'll be coming from. First of all, I'm speaking to you as a poet and as a teacher and somebody who has practiced Zen for the last eighteen years or so, and I do want to put the emphasis on the word 'practice.' I'm still practicing, and maybe one of these days I'll get it right. Let me tell a little story by way of introduction: About twenty-five years ago I was in London. Like many visitors to London, I went to Hyde Park, to Speakers'Corner, and I happened to see a religious speaker there. He was wailing away at the crowd and telling them about Hell and damnation and what they should do and what they shouldn't do and basically laying out a very clear and narrow interpretation of the moral law as he understood it. The whole time he was speaking there was an old guy right in front of him in the audience, who stood with arms defiantly folded across his chest just looking up at him skeptically, and every time the preacher finished one of his moral pronouncements, the old guy would say loudly and in varying tones of derision, 'How do you know?'

Author Biography

Al Zolynas, United States International University, San Diego

United States International University, San Diego