Chrysanthemum

Around my hut, I grow autumn growth, just like Tao Qian* did

Walking along the hedges, I watch the sun setting, bit by bit

It’s not that I prefer chrysanthemum to others

Only that there is no flower blooming later than it

~ Translated by Dot, from Yuan Zhen’s “Chrysanthemum,” written in the Tang dynasty

秋叢繞舍似陶家 遍繞籬邊日漸斜

不是花中偏愛菊 此花開盡更無花

~ 元稹 (唐代) <<菊花>>

*Tao Qian, also known as Tao Yuanming (born in 365 AD and died in 427 AD), remains as a major figure in China’s long history of poetry. Being disappointed with the political reality in his era, he decided to withdraw from public service and spent much of his life in reclusion, writing poetry to reflect on the beauty of countryside and simple life. He is considered the pioneer of recluse poetry, and his works a paragon of the ‘Fields and Gardens’ genre, an important poetic movement in classical Chinese literature.