My father alerted me to a good June poem that should appeal to anyone looking forward to vacation and a time to read. It’s by the 4th-5th century Chinese poet T’ao Chi’en. Enjoy.
In the month of June the grass grows high
And round my cottage thick-leaved branches sway.
There is not a bird but delights in the place where it rests;
And I too—love my thatched cottage.
I have done my ploughing;
I have sown my seed.
Again I have time to sit and read my books.
In the narrow lane there are no deep ruts;
Often my friends’ carriages turn back.
In high spirits I pour out my spring wine
And pluck the lettuce growing in my garden.
A gentle rain comes stealing up from the east
And a sweet wind bears it company.
My thoughts float idly over the story of the king of Chou,
My eyes wander over the pictures of Hills and Seas.
At a single glance I survey the whole universe.
He will never be happy, whom such pleasures fail to please!
–From Reading the Book of Hills and Seas
A note on the illustrator: The artist Yi Ming, born in 1991, grew up in a Chinese orphanage where the children are encouraged to paint in the tradition of ancient scrolls. More on Yi Ming and other artists from the orphanage can be found at www.scrollsfromchina.com/aboutartists.htm#yiming.