Thursday, April 26, 2012


Idly I Read

Tao Yuan-Ming (372?-427), Reading the Book of Strange Places and Seas (tr. Yang Yeh-tzu):
In early summer the woods and herbs are thriving,
Around my cottage thick sway the branches and shades.
The numerous birds delight in their sanctuaries,
And I too love my cottage.
After I have planted and sown,
Then I return to read my books.
The narrow lane which has no deep ruts
Has often turned back an old friend's coach.
Joyfully I pour my spring wine,
And pluck the lettuce growing in my garden.
A fine rain comes from the east
And a sweet wind follows it.
Idly I read the legends of King Chou
And glance at the map of the strange places.
In a moment I am flying through the universe.
How could such a man ever be unhappy?

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