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The Rhyme Maker
Tao Yuanming.
Tao Yuanming
365 - 427

Theme:   Wine Musings

Tao Yuanming is also known as Tao Qian and as T'ao Ch'ien.

Tao Yuanming is from the Six Dynasties period (c. 220 – 589), the period just prior to the Tang Dynasty, the “Golden Age” of Chinese literature.  He is the most highly regarded poet prior to the Tang era, a fact that Tang poet Li Bai uses in his wine poems , Two Poems Written As Parting Gifts.

In Waley's book, there are no stanza breaks in this poem.  The  breaks given here, separating the dialogue, brings some clarity to the piece.
- S. H. Bass   

Special Note:  The Wine Poems of China

more Tao Yuanming at
Flood (Waley)
Substance, Shadow, and Spirit (Waley)

To-Em-mei's "The Unmoving Cloud"  (Pound)  A/V

Stop Button Clutter!
In the quiet of the morning I heard a knock at my door
Tao Yuanming (365 – 427), Chinese poet
translated by Arthur Waley (1889-1966), British scholar/poet

In the quiet of the morning I heard a knock at my door:
I threw on my clothes and opened it myself.
I asked who it was who had come so early to see me:
He said he was a peasant, coming with good intent.
He brought a present of wine and rice-soup,
Believing that I had fallen on evil days.

“You live in rags under a thatched roof
And seem to have no desire for a better lot.
The rest of mankind have all the same ambitions:
You, too, must learn to wallow in their mire.”

“Old man, I am impressed by what you say,
But my soul is not fashioned like other men’s.
To drive in their rut I might perhaps learn:
To be untrue to myself could only lead to muddle.
Let us drink and enjoy together the wine you have brought:
For my course is set and cannot now be altered.”

from A Hundred And Seventy Chinese Poems (1918)

Project Gutenberg logoFREE E-BOOKS  at Project Gutenberg

170 Chinese Poems (1918)

More Poems from the Chinese (1919)

BOTTLED POETRY: Verses from the Vine
vinted and bottled by Stephen H. Bass

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