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Tao Yuanming: Changing Houses: Two Poems: No. 1

Changing Houses: Two Poems: No.1

移 居:二 首
昔 欲 居 南 村
非 为 卜 其 宅;
闻 多 素 心 人
乐 与 数 晨 夕。
怀 此 颇 有 年
今 日 从 兹 役。
敝 庐 何 必 广
取 足 蔽 床 度。
邻 曲 时 时 来
抗 言 谈 在 昔;
奇 文 共 欣 赏
疑 义 相 与 析。
Yi Ju: Er Shou


Xi yu ju nan cun
Fei wei bo qi zhai;
Wen duo su xin ren
Le you shu chen xi.

Huai ci po you nian
Jin ri cong zi yi.
Bi lu he bi guang
Qu zu bi chuang du.

Lin qu shi shi lai
Kang yan tan zai xi;
Qi wen gong xin shang
Yi yi xiang yu xi.


Changing Houses: Two Poems: No. 1


In former days I wanted to live in a southern village
Did not need to consider feng shui for this new house;
Heard that many people live simple and quiet lives here
Enjoy talking with them all day long, and then watch the stars come out.

For many years I have yearned for this
Today I begin to move my things;
My simple hut does not need to be extensive
Sufficient shelter is the size of my bed.

Arriving neighbors wander by again and again
These people do not need to talk about old gossip;
We share and admire well-written literature
Together we examine and discuss what is right, and what is unbelievable.



Feng shui: Literally means wind and water. A form of geomancy, where the intent is to harmonize people with their environments. This includes the orientation of new buildings, and the elements and contents therein.



In 409 AD, Tao Yuanming’s house burned down, forcing him into a boat for temporary quarters. He later built a house in the southern outskirts. Referred to in his famous poem, Drinking Wine No. 5, which can be found on this website.

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