rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Tea and Verse

Housebound by the persistent rain, I spent part of the afternoon reading Chinese poetry, in lieu of a walk. If I can't go outdoors to walk, I at least like to walk my thoughts through literary landscapes. I found a verse by the early Sung poet and painter Su Tung-Po (Su Shih), which I don't recall reading before. It's a nice piece for a cold day, when the rain is falling to fill the lakes and rivers and recharge the springs.


Living water should be cooked
With living fire.
I go to the rock where once I fished,
Myself drawing up the limpidity of the pool.
I keep a gourd vessel in the store;
The moon is kept in a jar.
I slice the water with a ladle;
The river is kept in a jug.

The snowy milk has risen
From the bottom, where it was boiled;
Suddenly the wind is heard
Pouring through the pine forest.
It is hard to prevent my withered tongue
From drinking three full cups.
Sitting idly, I listen to the watches
Beating in the deserted town.

-Su Tung-Po


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