Tuesday, February 24, 2015


On Laziness

Bai Juyi (772-846), "On Laziness," tr. Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping:
When offices are open I'm too lazy to apply for office.
And though I have lands I'm too lazy to farm them.
My roof leaks but I'm too lazy to fix it
and I'm too lazy to patch my gown when it splits.
I'm too lazy to pour my wine into my cup;
it's like my cup is always empty.
I'm too lazy to play my lute;
it's as if it has no strings.
My family says the steamed rice is all eaten;
I want some but am too lazy to hull it.
I receive letters from relatives and friends
I want to read, but am too lazy to slit them open.
I heard about Qi Shuye
who spent all his life in laziness,
but he played the lute and smelted iron.
Compared with me, he isn't lazy at all!
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