mjj (flemmings) wrote,

I'm not as great a fan of Po Chu-i (properly, Bo Juyi/ Bai Juyi/ 白居易) as Waley was, but then maybe Bai is one of those Does Not Translate guys. OTOH there are occasional gems like this:
Rising Late and Playing With A-Ts'ui, Aged Two

All the morning I have lain snugly in bed
Now at dusk I rise with many yawns.
My warm stove is quick to get ablaze;
At the cold mirror I am slow doing my hair.
With melted snow I boil fragrant tea;
Seasoned with curds I cook a milk-pudding.
At my sloth and greed there's no one but me to laugh;
My cheerful vigour none but myself knows.
The taste of wine is mild and works no poison;
The notes of my lute are soft and bring no sadness.
To the Three Joys in the book of Mencius
I add the fourth of playing with my baby-boy.
Supposing that he kept the usual way of counting ages, this really was a baby boy and not a two year old. (By our way of counting, Tsui died at two.) Nice domesticity and all, but guy, really? Was the baby in bed with you all the time you were sleeping in? And didn't demand to be fed, not once? That's the part that defies belief.
Tags: china, verse

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