Anthology of Tea Poems : LUSENET : Tea Forum : One Thread

Translations from selected poems with tea theme.

-- martin tai (, January 17, 1999


Anchor My Boat on Wu River

Sailing all my life on lake and sea,

Why not set my house [1] on anchor,

At a scenic spot,

Bucket up water under the Song-Jiang Bridge

Enjoy a cup of new tea

On Dangling Rainbow Arbour

Yang Wan Li ( South Sung Dynasty poet)

[1]. A boat house 

-- MARTIN (, November 04, 2004.

The following article on living water is a translation from an ancient book "Stories by a retired fisherman on Zou River"

On Living water

Sung Dynasty poet Su Dong Po wrote in his poem

" Fetch water from the river to brew tea" :

Living water[1] must be boiled with living fire[2],

I fetch deep clear water by the Fishing Rock

A big bucket saved the moon into a jar for spring,

A small scoop divided the stream into a bottle for the evening"

This poem has a distinct style, it described the essense of tea brewing: tea must be brewed with living water, with out it one cannot extract the full aroma of tea. Dung Po knew this very well indeed. I lived at Fu Sa county for a while, and did fetched water from the river to brew tea; the color, aroma and taste were excellent on all three counts. That location also produced the best tea in the world, probably due to its water. Brewing tea with such water enhanced the aroma. Even cloth washed with this water looked extra clean and white, this is an indication how light annd clean the water was.

Note [1]. Living water. Ancients considered flowing water from spring or river best for tea.

[2]. Living fire: fire with lively flame, such as from burning charcoal.

-- martin (, November 04, 2004.


Tea Stove

A fairy left a stove

In the midst of the sea

In a square boat he sailed off

After drinking his tea

A thin column of tea smoke rising

Light aroma floating.

-- martin (, November 04, 2004.

Tasting Tea

Fetch my own spring water,

Fragrant with fallen flowers,

Set up a fire in a marble stove

Try out my new tea,

Lying under the green shades in a tranquil garden

Listening to the bees

Reporting their latest harvest.

Peom by Sung Dynasty poet Tai Bing, translated by Martin Tai (1998)

-- martin (, November 04, 2004.

Farm House

Gao Qi ( Ming Dynasty )

I heard Sound of spinnig wheel

Mixed with sound of flowing water

Sight of wooden bridge,

flowerless trees in hazy spring

Where from the aroma the breeze brought so close ?

Oh, next neighor is baking afternoon tea !

Translated by Martin Tai (1998)

-- martin (, November 04, 2004.

Saw Luk Yu off to Pick Tea

Thousand mountains greeted my departing friend

When spring tea blossoming again

With indepth knowledge in picking tea

Through morning mist or red evening clouds

His solitary journey is my envy

Rendezvous in a temple of a remote mountain

We enjoyed picnic by a clear pebble fountain

In this silent night

Lit up a candle light

I knocked a marble bell for chime

While deep in thought for old time.

by Huang Pu Zhen-- Tang Dynasty poet, friend of Tea Sage Luk Yu

Luk Yu , a famous Tang Dynasty tea sage , the author of "Book of Tea". Luk Yu befriended may poets of his time, many of them wrote poems about him. This poem by Huang Pu Zhen was an example

Translated by martin tai, 1996.

-- martin tai (, February 17, 2005.

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