August 02, 2012

Goodnight, sweet princess


Kala Sarpa again borrows from Shakespeare: "Or you would let flights of angels sing thee across the Sanzu River?" My sister Kate suggested the line. It comes from Hamlet: Act 5, Scene 2.

Now cracks a noble heart. Goodnight, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

The Sanzu River (三途の川), meaning the "River of Three Crossings," is the Buddhist equivalent of the River Styx. Another parallel is the popular expression, "You can't take it with you." If you stuff your pocket with too much money, you're likely to drown in the Sanzu River.

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