Like a face one has loved.


Trees growing–right in front of my window;
The trees are high and the leaves thick.
Sad alas! the distant mountain view
Obscured by this, dimly shows through.
One morning I took knife and axe;
With my own hand I lopped the branches off.
Ten thousand leaves fall about my head;
A thousand hills come before my eyes.
Suddenly, as when clouds or mists break
And straight through, the blue sky appears;
Again, like the face of a friend one has loved
Seen at last after an age of parting.
First there came a gentle wind blowing;
One by one the birds flew back to the tree.
To ease my mind I gazed to the South East;
As my eyes wandered, my thoughts went far away.
Of men there is none that has not some preference;
Of things there is none but mixes good with ill.
It was not that I did not love the tender branches;
But better still -– to see the green hills!

-Po Chü-i

China, 9th century
Translated by Arthur Waley

Central Valley of California


1 thought on “Like a face one has loved.

  1. How I love this very apt poem for only a short while ago I had to prune a tree away from our lounge window. More than the view (of more trees) and the extra light, I was afraid the branches might push themselves through the glass as they grew stronger or were buffeted by the strong winds we experience now and then. A much more difficult task outside our dining-room window is going to require a long ladder – I may have to seek assistance from someone else for this one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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