Issue #1606 - Monday, November 3, 2003 - Editor:
You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
I smile and
make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down
stream and is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among
After I climb the chill mountain's steep stone paths,
Deep in the white
clouds there are homes of men.
I stop my carriage, and sit to admire the
maple-grove at nightfall,
Whose frozen leaves are redder than the flowers of
Deserted mountains - not a man is seen,
Only the sound of voices can be
The sunbeam, entering the deep woods,
Reflects again, on the green
The year is ended, and it only adds to my age;
Spring has come, but I
must take leave of my home.
Alas, that the trees in this eastern
Without me, will still bear flowers.
I built my cottage among the habitations of men,
And yet there is no
clamor of carriages and horses.
You ask: "Sir, how can this be done?"
heart that is distant creates its own solitude."
I pluck chrysanthemums under
the eastern hedge,
Then gaze afar towards the southern hills.
air is fresh at the dusk of day;
The flying birds in flocks return.
these things there lies a deep meaning;
I want to tell it, but have forgotten
Tr. Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping
To what can our life on earth be likened?
To a flock of geese,
alighting on the snow.
Sometimes leaving a trace of their passage.
It's all ordinary experience,
All ordinary images.
they emerge in a dream,
Turning out infinite new patterns.
It's all ordinary feelings,
All ordinary words.
By chance they
encounter a poet,
Turning out infinite new verses.
Once intoxicated, one learns the strength of wine,
Once smitten, one
learns the power of love:
You cannot write my poems
Just as I cannot
dream your dreams.
Hu Shih (1891-1962)
Translated by Kai Yu Hsu