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, October 19, 2017

Tang Dynasty Poems: #65, A DRINKING SONG AT STONE-FISH LAKE

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The Tang Dynasty was a high point of culture in ancient China. Especially esteemed were poems. There was no home coming or leave taking; no event too small to not be commemorated with a poem.

Some of the best poems of that period have been collected into an anthology known as The 300 Tang Dynasty Poems. A online version of the anthology may be found here.Today we have #65, A DRINKING SONG AT STONE-FISH LAKE

I have used grain from the public fields, for distilling wine.
After my office hours I have the wine loaded on a boat and then
I seat my friends on the bank of the lake.

The little wine-boats come to each of us and supply us with wine.
We seem to be drinking on Pa Islet in Lake Dongting.
And I write this poem.

Stone-Fish Lake is like Lake Dongting --
When the top of Zun is green and the summer tide is rising.
...With the mountain for a table, and the lake a fount of wine,
The tipplers all are settled along the sandy shore.
Though a stiff wind for days has roughened the water,
Wine-boats constantly arrive....
I have a long-necked gourd and, happy on Ba Island,
I am pouring a drink in every direction doing away with care.

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