Poems by Bruce Lee, on his birthday.

Yes. You heard that right.

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

Bruce Lee Poem

Source :  Bruce Lee : Artist of Life , John Little


2. Parting

(This poem  is Bruce Lee’s translation of a Chinese poem by Madam Kuan.)

Bruce Lee Poem

Source :  Bruce Lee : Artist of Life , John Little

3. Things I see

Bruce Lee Poem

Source:  Bruce Lee : Artist of Life , John Little

And Lastly,

4.Rain, Black Clouds

Source : Bruce Lee : Artist of Life , John Little

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.


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