Poetry

The Next Time You Doubt Your Poetry, Remember This T’ang Poem

I’m currently reading the book Cold Mountain: 100 Poems by the T’ang Poet Han-shan as translated by Burton Watson in 1962 and I came across this gem that I just had to share with you:

Here’s Han-shan and friends, down on their luck, without jobs. All they have is their poetry. In this poem, they think their poetry is so bad that if they wrote their words on bread, the bread wouldn’t be desirable even for dogs. This poem is full of insecurity and doubt.

And I’m reading this translated poem in a published collection, around 1100 to 1400 years later. And blogging about it.

So the next time you doubt that your work is appreciated, unwanted, or unloved, think back to this poem that doubted itself for no reason. The poem that the future proved wrong.

Plus I love “Scribble, scribble.” How cute is that??

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