January 7th, 2012

T'ao Ch'ien: I built my hut within where others live

I built my hut within where others live
T'ao Ch'ien, (365 - 427)

I built my hut within where others live,
But there is no noise of carriages and horses.
You ask how this is possible:
When the heart is distant, solitude comes.
I pluck chrysanthemums by the eastern fence
And see the distant southern mountains.
The mountain air is fresh at dusk.
Flying birds return in flocks.
In these things there lies a great truth,
But when I try to express it, I cannot find the words.




The Selected Poems of T'ao Ch'ien, Translated by David Hinton
Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry, Edited by Wu-chi Liu / Edited by Irving Yucheng Lo


T'ao Ch'ien: I built my hut within where others live