Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | August 1, 2008

POEM OF THE DAY: Returning to Live in the Country – 1 of 5

by Tao Qian (365-427).  


Returning to Live in the Country – 1 of 5 


Young, I was always free of common feeling.                          1

It was in my nature to love the hills and mountains.

Mindlessly I was caught in the dust-filled trap.

Waking up, thirty years had gone.

The caged bird wants the old trees and air.                             5

Fish in their pool miss the ancient stream.

I plough the earth at the edge of South Moor.

Keeping life simple, return to my plot and garden.

My place is hardly more than a few fields.

My house has eight or nine small rooms.                                10

Elm-trees and Willows shade the back.

Plum-trees and Peach-trees reach the door.

Misted, misted the distant village.

Drifting, the soft swirls of smoke.

Somewhere a dog barks deep in the winding lanes.            15

A cockerel crows from the top of the mulberry tree.

No heat and dust behind my closed doors.

My bare rooms are filled with space and silence.

Too long a prisoner, captive in a cage,

Now I can get back again to Nature.                                        20


(Tr. Tony Kline)



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