American Poetry 1922/Chinese Poet Among Barbarians
CHINESE POET AMONG BARBARIANS
The rain drives, drives endlessly,
Heavy threads of rain;
The wind beats at the shutters,
The surf drums on the shore;
Drunken telegraph poles lean sideways;
Dank summer cottages gloom hopelessly;
Bleak factory-chimneys are etched on the filmy distance,
Tepid with rain.
It seems I have lived for a hundred years
Among these things;
And it is useless for me now to make complaint against them.
For I know I shall never escape from this dull barbarian country,
Where there is none now left to lift a cool jade winecup,
Or share with me a single human thought.