Poem of the Week

Waking Late in My Garden: To Magistrate Han and Secretary Lu in Chaoying by Wei Ying-wu, translated by Red Pine


Creative commons image by Michael S King

Farmers have already started to plow
thick smoke is rising from their yards
birds are singing sweetly from garden trees
being retired I was still asleep
unaware the day was so late
I got up and gazed at the azure sky
I stretched my limbs
and felt happy indeed
then I went back below thatched eaves
poured some wine and considered fine men
adjusting their belts on their way to the office
with nothing but documents to fill their days
wishing they were here in the woods
enjoying the sight of mountains and streams
unless you’re living in enlightened times
why not work on yourselves instead

Translation © Red Pine, 2009. This week’s poem is taken from In Such Hard Times: The Poetry of Wei Ying-wu, and reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.

Find out more at the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre.


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