The Pa River by Po Chü-i

Below the city, where the Pa River’s water flows,
spring comes like yeast-powder spiriting wine:

beaches feel soft as the Wei’s meandering shores,
and cliffs bring memories of T’ien-chin Bridge,

but fresh yellow willows dip their shadows here,
and tiny white duckweed blossoms scent the air.

Sitting beside swelling water, I scratch my head:
all this grief and sorrow, and whose is it anyway?

translated by David Hinton

Baby’s First Bath by Su Dongpo

Parents raising children
hope they will become
intelligent and wise

but all my life
I’ve been the victim
of my own cleverness

all I want for my kids
is that they be
ignorant and stupid

so they can grow into
high-ranking nobles
free from misfortunes and suffering.

translated by Jiann I. Lin & David Young

from T’ao Ch’ien

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.

translated by Arthur Waley

Looking through old photos, this poem of Po Chü-i came to mind: Pouring Out My Feelings after Parting from Yüan Chen by Po Chü-i

Drip drip, the rain on paulownia leaves;
softly sighing, the wind in the mallow flowers.
Sad sad the early autumn thoughts
that come to me in my dark solitude.
How much more so when I part from an old friend–
no delight then in my musings.
Don’t say I didn’t see you off–
in heart I went as far as the Green Gate and beyond.
With friends, it’s not how many you have
but only whether they share your heart or not.
One who shares my heart has gone away
and I learn how empty Ch’ang-an can be.

translated by Burton Watson