The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tang Dynasty Poems, #35: Dwelling by a Stream


The Tang Dynasty is held to have been a golden age in Chinese culture. Art and poetry were esteemed.

No event was too small to not be commemorated with a poem. No homecoming or leaving taking, no celebration was complete without one.

The finest examples of Tang Dynasty poetry were complied into a famous anthology known as The 300 Tang Dynasty Poems, which can be found online here.

For now, here is number 35:

Liu Zongyuan
DWELLING BY A STREAM

I had so long been troubled by official hat and robe
That I am glad to be an exile here in this wild southland.
I am a neighbour now of planters and reapers.
I am a guest of the mountains and woods.
I plough in the morning, turning dewy grasses,
And at evening tie my fisher-boat, breaking the quiet stream.
Back and forth I go, scarcely meeting anyone,
And sing a long poem and gaze at the blue sky.

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