Wednesday, November 27, 2019


Drinking Wine

Lin Hung (c. 1340-c. 1400), "Drinking Wine," tr. Irving Y. Lo in Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry (Garden City: Anchor Books, 1975), p. 463:
Confucian scholars love strange antiquity,
No sooner open their mouth than gab about Yao and Shun.
If they were born before the time of Fu-hsi,
What'd have been the topic of their discourse?
Now the ancients have all passed away,
And their ways are found in what they left behind.
But since not a single word in them can be made good,
Ten thousand volumes are all useless things.
So I wish only to drink my wine,
And not to know the rest.
Look, the people in the Land of the Happy-drunk
Lived long before Heaven and earth began.

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