Thu | Oct 21, 2021


Published:Sunday | March 7, 2021 | 12:14 AM

A Drinking Song

I dwell in my hut on the busy street,

Not feeling bothered by the clamour there.

Why can I make it a hermit’s retreat?

My seclusive mind finds peace everywhere.

By the east hedge wall, I’d pluck daisy flowers

And watch the southern hills afar at ease;

The hills appear lovely in sunset hours,

When birds fly together back to their trees.

I feel the truth of life in what I see;

I want to say it but words just fail me.

Written by Tao Qian (ca. 365 - 427)

Translated by Iceiron

About the author: Tao Qian, or Tao Yuanming, an ancient Chinese idyllist who was well-known for his resigning from the corrupt official circles at that time and becoming a chrysanthemum-loving hermit.

About the translator: Iceiron, holds an agricultural PhD and loves to translate Chinese poetry.

Courtesy: Confucius Institute, The University of the West Indies, Mona