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Chuang Tzu – Árvore inútil

domingo 21 de agosto de 2022


Amoroso Lima

Hui Tzu disse a Chuang:

Tenho uma grande árvore,

Que se chama «mal-cheirosa».

Seu tronco tão torto

É tão cheio de nós

Que ninguém pode dele tirar uma só tábua. Os galhos são tão retorcidos Que você não consegue cortá-los De modo a que sejam úteis.

Lá está ela à beira da estrada. Carpinteiro nenhum a olhará. Eis o seu ensinamento — Grande e inútil.

Respondeu-lhe Chuang Tzu  :

Já viu o gato do mato

Agachado, espreitando sua presa, —

Pula assim, e assim,

Para cima e para baixo, e por fim

Cai na armadilha.

Mas o iaque, já viu?

Poderoso qual trovão

Mantém-se com sua força.


Claro que sim,

Mas não sabe pegar ratos!

Assim, a sua árvore inútil.


Plante-a então no terreno baldio


E caminhe a esmo, em torno dela,

Descanse à sua sombra;

Nenhum machado ou decreto proclamará o seu fim.

Ninguém jamais a abaterá. Inútil?

Que me importa!

Merton (original)

Hui Tzu said to Chuang:

I have a big tree,

The kind they call a “stinktree.”

The trunk is so distorted,

So full of knots,

No one can get a straight plank

Out of it. The branches are so crooked

You cannot cut them up

In any way that makes sense  .

There it stands beside the road.

No carpenter will even look at it.

Such is your teaching—

Big and useless.

Chuang Tzu replied:

Have you ever watched the wildcat

Crouching, watching his prey—

This way it leaps, and that way,

High and low, and at last

Lands in the trap.

But have you seen the yak?

Great as a thundercloud

He stands in his might.

Big? Sure,

He can’t catch mice!

So for your big tree. No use?

Then plant it in the wasteland

In emptiness.

Walk idly around,

Rest under its shadow;

No axe or bill prepares its end.

No one will ever cut it down.

Useless? You should worry! [i. 7.]

Burton Watson

Hui Tzu said to Chuang Tzu, “I have a big tree of the kind men call shu. Its trunk is too gnarled and bumpy to apply a measuring line to, its branches too bent and twisty to match up to a compass or square. You could stand it by the road and no carpenter would look at it twice. Your words, too, are big and useless, and so everyone alike spurns them!”

Chuang Tzu said, “Maybe you’ve never seen a wildcat or a weasel. It crouches down and hides, watching for something to come along. It leaps and races east and west, not hesitating to go high or low—until it falls into the trap and dies   in the net. Then again there’s the yak, big as a cloud covering the sky. It certainly knows how to be big, though it doesn’t know how to catch rats. Now you have this big tree and you’re distressed because it’s useless. Why don’t you plant it in Not Even-Anything Village, or the field of Broad-and-Boundless, relax and do nothing by its side, or lie down for a free and easy sleep under it? Axes will never shorten its life, nothing can ever harm it. If there’s no use for it, how can it come to grief or pain?” [Complete Works of Chuang Tzu]

Ver online : CHUANG TZU