Sent to Ch’ao, the Palace Reviser by Meng Hao-jan

You polish words in rue-scented libraries,
and I live in bamboo-leaf gardens, a recluse

wandering every day the same winding path
home to rest in the quiet, no noise anywhere.

A bird soaring the heights can choose a tree,
but the hedge soon tangles impetuous goats.

Today, things seen becoming thoughts felt:
this is where you start forgetting the words.

translated by David Hinton