God, it's hard being a poet
Long lines sent to Lin Hu-Ch'u before he comes to visit my tumbledown home
by Po Chü-I (772-846 AD)
No esteem for the stately caps and carriages of consequence,
in love with woods and streams, I go out and doze, perhaps,
drunk beside the pond. I’ve stopped trying to save the world,
just wander herb paths, keep my little fishing boat swept out.
Serving the poetry master with writing-brush and inkstone,
I’m steadied by music and my friend, the immortality in wine,
but for lofty sentiments, I stay close to things themselves:
green moss, rock bamboo-shoots, water lilies in white bloom.