Il Tao Della Barca
Synopsis A sailboat tossed about on rough seas will struggle to find a smooth course, balancing itself through wind and water. The human experience is a succession of balancing maneuvers as we resolve conflicts, find love, and merely exist from day to day. Grigg shows one how to be like a sailboat -- steady, adaptable, serene, and powerful. Publishers Weekly According to the introduction, this book is an attempt to represent the connection between the Western activity of sailing and the Eastern philosophy of Taoism, '' and in doing so prescribe a metaphor for a way of living.'' Grigg ( The Tao of Relationships ) tries earnestly, in more than 130 prose poems, to provide readers with a method for achieving a stable inner peace amidst the disorder of a constantly changing universe. Unfortunately, his language is numbingly bland and the philosophical concepts he espouses are painfully banal. This collection, based on Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, created in the sixth century B.C., is written in such overwhelmingly abstract terms--like wholeness, '' emptiness, '' stillness, '' whatness, '' thatness''--that the more concrete theme of sailing is lost in a miasma of meaningless generalities: Everything knows. Ship knows its shipness and does just-so. Rock knows its rockness and does just-so. Sea knows its seaness and does just-so.'' The text is accompanied by William Gaetz's lackluster drawings of the bamboo plant, which, like sailing, is a metaphor for inner balance and resourcefulness. (July)
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