Wednesday, September 12, 2018


Many ancient scholars chose to live in seclusion in deep mountains surrounded by bamboo forests, where they drank wine, wrote poems or painted pictures while enjoying the beauty of nature. By leading such a simple life, they wanted to stay away from worldly affairs. Su Dongpo, (苏东坡 ) a famous writer of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), wrote in his poem, 
"I would rather eat no meat than live without bamboo."

Planting Bamboos


by Bai Juyi

Unrewarded, my will to serve the State;

At my closed door autumn grasses grow.
What could I do to ease a rustic heart?
I planted bamboo, more than a hundred shoots.
When I see their beauty, as they grow by the stream-side,
I feel again as though I lived in the hills,
And many a time on public holidays
Round their railing I walk till night comes.
Do not say that their roots are still weak,
Do not say that their shade is still small;
Already I feel that both in garden and house
Day by day a fresher air moves.
But most I love, lying near the window-side,
to hear in their branches the sound of the autumn-wind. 

photos: (c) bruce behnke 2018