After T’ao Ch’ien’s “Drinking Wine” bySu Tung-p’o

Leonard Durso

This little boat of mine, truly a lone leaf,
and beneath it, the sound of dark swells:

I keep paddling in depths of night, drunk,
pleasures of home, bed and desk,forgotten.

At dawn, when I ask about the road ahead,
I’m already past a thousand ridges rising

beyond ridges. O where am I going here,
this Way forever leaving ever returning?

Never arriving, what can we understand,
and always leaving, what’s left to explain?

translated by David Hinton

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