Thursday, June 14, 2012


A Bad Bargain

A poem by T'ao Ch'ien, aka T'ao Yüan-ming (365-427), tr. Arthur Waley:
A long time ago
I went on a journey,
Right to the corner
Of the Eastern Ocean.
The road there
Was long and winding,
And stormy waves
Barred my path.
What made me
Go this way?
Hunger drove me
Into the World.
I tried hard
To fill my belly:
And even a little
Seemed a lot.
But this was clearly
A bad bargain,
So I went home
And lived in idleness.

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