Sunday, May 01, 2011

May Day, 2011

Plum Blossoms in Japan

—Nguyen Trai (1380-1442)

A bamboo hut and a plum tree bower—
That's where I spend my days, far from the world's talk.
For meals, only some pickled cabbage,
But I've never cared for the life of damask and silk.
There's a pool of water for watching the moon,
And land to plough into flower beds.
Sometimes I feel inspired on snowy nights—
That's when I write my best poems, and sing.

(trans. from the Vietnamese by Nguyen Ngoc Bich)