To the scientist the aim of alchemy seems only to be the transmutation of base metals into gold. Though some alchemists were concerned solely with this, many were serious and dedicated thinkers who used alchemical symbols and ideas to probe religious, philosophical and psychological issues.

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Haiku is a form of poetry which is written in seventeen syllables. Each poem contains a word that refers to the season described in the haiku. The following haiku are by the three greatest haiku poets of Japan. (All translations are by R. H. Blyth)

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The breathe of the hand that trembles while holding on to a dream is what leads us. We don’t find, we search. We believe and we see not. Certain corner twisted our Love and if before we were strangers, we’re now barely a vague discrepancy. To reach our destiny we take the bus, the subway or the hemlock. If we were to divide our lives in endless points we run the risk of being scattered by the wind. Factual proof of our madness is that even though we recognize ourselves completely in someone else’s poems we still try uttering something. When we are kissed, we present the other cheek. We’re the shade but not the beggar. We know two functions pertain to the tongue, none related to speech. We were born in April, at the wrong time & place & with the sex equivocal. As children, we were tortured by animals. We read the hands’ lines: that is, literature. Irreparably we fall for those who won’t love us. We’re the face of any coin, a quiet phone, a glass half full in agony. Our cause is the effect. We forget the lyrics to our favorite songs but never those who rescued us from the dark of night. Our poetry lives in jails & hospitals, we don’t. We live under the nails of the moon, behind the eyes -amidst the rain- of every bird. Being an error, we’ve committed 
this humanity…


Translation by SM