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