Poetry might not be the first thing that comes to one’s mind when we think of Bruce Lee.
The name Bruce Lee may conjure images of a lithe fighter bursting with kicks, chops and punches. But poetry…Seriously? The martial arts legend who developed his own fighting style called Jeet Kune Do and provided a new identity to the Asian Americans in Hollywood films also translated and wrote poetry. When he wasn’t training, starring in films or kicking ass, he spent his time reading and writing. His philosophy was influential in bringing the “Eastern” systems of thought to popular Western imagination. Some of his quotes (like the Sun-Tzu inspired quote on the resilience of water) provide a glimpse of the other side of the legendary martial artist.
The side of Lee that isn’t nearly as well known is reflected in some of his (mostly private) poems. Besides writing poems, Lee also translated literary works. Sit back and enjoy the poetic side of Lee by reading some memorable pieces by the master.
All the poems provided below are attributed to the book Bruce Lee : Artist of Life edited by John Little who is perhaps among the foremost of Lee biographers.
1. The Silent Flute
(This poem is Bruce Lee’s translation of a Chinese poem by Madam Kuan.)
3. Things I see
4.Rain, Black Clouds
We are lucky to have these gems with us to celebrate the other side of the martial artist.
Happy Birthday Bruce!
Lee’s legacy is being furthered by his daughter Shannon Lee and The Bruce Lee Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that has a record of providing martial arts training to underprivileged youths. The Foundation has also been providing financial assistance to students in the form of BLF Scholarships. Truly, there are different ways of intercepting the fist. And Bruce Lee Foundation seems to be on its mission of intercepting the fist of inequality.