I Built My House Near Where Others Dwell

I built my house near where others dwell,
And yet there is no clamor of carriages and horses.
You ask of me "how can this be so?"
"When the heart is far the place of itself is distant."
I pluck chrysanthemums under the eastern hedge,
And gaze afar towards the southern mountains.
The mountain air is fine at evening of the day
And flying birds return together homewards.
Within these things there is a hint of Truth,
But when I start to tell it, I cannot find the words.

-- By T'ao Ch'ien,
translated by William Acker


  1. So lovely, and mysterious. It's a fine post for a late Sunday evening, free of strife and murmurings.

    It's full summer here. With no drought, the crops are heavy and full. I've picked blackberries and blueberries until there's no room for more in the freezer. The tomatoes are in, and the sweet corn. This is the season of heat, and plenty. In a week, there will be watermelon. Happy summer to you, too!

    1. Oh, Linda. That sounds lovely. With our late and wet spring, things are only starting to be harvestable, but the bounty is coming, I'm sure of it. I count on it, actually. It's one of the things I measure the year by.

      Glad you enjoyed this poem. It spoke to me in a quiet way, and I felt like sharing it. Peace to you!


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