Tuesday, June 05, 2018


What More Could I Ask?

The Selected Poems of Du Fu. Translated by Burton Watson (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), p. 81 (title "River Village"):
One bend of the clear river crooks the village in its flow;
long summer days, river village, all activity stilled.
Swallows from the bridge come and go as they please,
gulls on the water friendlier, more fearless than ever.
My aging wife rules a sheet of paper, fashioning us a chessboard;
the boys hammer a needle, making it into a fishhook.
With all these ailments, all I require is medicine;1
of humble station, what more could I ask?


1. "I've an old friend who supplies me with rations of rice;" is an alternate reading given in one version of the text.

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