Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Since the days of my middle life
I was deeply devoted to Tao.
Recently I came to live
in the mountains of Chung-nan.
Oftentimes--with joy in my heart--
Alone, I roam here and there.
It is a wonderful thing
That I am aware of myself.
When the streamlet ends my trip
I settle down and catch
The moment of rising mists.
Now and then I meet
A furrowed dweller of the woods.

We chat and laugh;
Never do we want to go home.

-Wang Wei


When it was dark, I reached the village of Shih-hao.
Late at night an officer came to recruit men.
The old man in the house climbed over the wall and fled.
The old woman opened the door.
How the angry officer was raging!
How bitterly the woman was crying!
I heard what the old woman said:
"I had three sons for the defense of the City of Yeh.
Only one of them sent me a letter.
The other two boys were killed in battle.
The one who remained may not live long.
The dead are gone forever.
There are no more men in the house
Except my grandson who is still fed on milk.
Because of him his mother stays with us.
However, she has no whole skirt to go out.
Although I am old and have no strength,
Let me go with you, officer,
To immediately answer the urgent call from Ho-yang.
At least I can do some cooking for the soldiers."
Later in the night their conversation stopped.
What I heard was something like sobbing.
At daybreak I started out again on my journey.
I could only say "Good-bye" to the old man.

-Tu Fu

These poems were taken from "Creativity and Taoism" by Chang Chung-yuan