Vox Populi

Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Politics and Poetry

Mike James: Tu Fu, In Exile, In Middle Age

calm lake a mirror to the mountains

at the center a fisherman’s boat rests

 

tu fu, so long away from the capital,

envies the fisherman and his net

 

wife crying in another room

not a bowl of rice in the house

 

not one persimmon for the children

of course, no wine for late hours alone

 

he wishes for a gift or a letter

drinks water from his gourd cup

 

the mountains are large, but no closer

that fisherman always works alone

.

Authors note: Tang Dynasty poet Tu Fu (712 – 770) worked as a government official for various Chinese emperors. On several occasions he fell out of favor and was sent into exile where he lived in great poverty and loneliness. During one of those exiles, his son died from sickness brought on by malnutrition. I actually wrote the poem shortly after the election thinking about how the ancient Chinese poets responded with calm to the many invasions, plagues, droughts and wars.


 

Copyright 2017 Mike James

.

Poet Tu Fu (Du Fu)

Tu Fu (712 – 770)

One comment on “Mike James: Tu Fu, In Exile, In Middle Age

  1. triciaknoll
    May 16, 2017

    Thank you, Mike, for this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on May 16, 2017 by in Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , .
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