Poetry of Protracted Illness


Visit from a Friend  Po Chu’i [772-846 CE]

I have been ill so long that I do not count the days;
At the southern window, evening – and again evening.

Sadly chirping in the grasses under my eaves
The winter sparrows morning and evening sing.

By an effort I rise and lean heavily on my bed;
Tottering I step toward the door of the courtyard.

By chance I meet a friend who is coming to see me;
Just as if I had gone specially to meet him.

They took my couch and placed it in the setting sun;
They spread my rug and I leaned on the balcony-pillar.

Tranquil talk was better than any medicine;
Gradually the feelings came back to my numbed heart.

Translation · Arthur Waley · 170 Chinese Poems

www.ElementalChanges.com Protracted Illness





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