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HomePoems > Lao Tse, On the Nature of the Way > Alive, a man is soft and supple     

  

Alive, a man is soft and supple

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alive,
a man
is
soft
and
supple
dead,
he
grows
stiff
then
hard
alive,
trees
bend
in the rain
and
yield
dead,
they
dry out,
and
break
apart
whatever
is
stiff
and
hard
belongs
to the dead
whatever
is
soft
and
supple
belongs
to the living
a sword
that's
too hard
breaks
a tree
that's
too hard
gets cut down
the big
and
the strong
soon

fall
the weak
and
the yielding

somehow
survive
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