Sitting Idle at the North Window by Po Chü-i

The window empty: two thickets of bamboo.
The house tranquil: a single fragrant stove.

Beyond the gate, it’s red dust everywhere,
and in the city, that white sun hurries on,

but I don’t chase after immortality masters,
don’t long for the arts of everlasting life.

I have my own secret for stretching it out:
when the mind’s idle, months and years last.

Trans. David Hinton
The Selected Poems of Po Chü-i


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