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from the September 2011 issue

On Tao Qian

Tao Qian on Tao Qian:
He likes to read and is satisfied with the most simple of explanations.
When he understands what something means, he is so happy he forgets to eat.

Su Dongpo on Tao Qian:
He writes the way someone who is no longer impatient speaks.

Huang Tingjian on Tao Qian:
The poems are of no use
to someone just out of childhood,
but if he rereads them when he is old
it is as if he has made his decisions without knowing enough.

Huang Tingjian says that Su Dongpo is like Tao Qian.

Like two ducks, sleeping next to each other on the bank of the river that carries the rain to the sea while the storm rages on.

Translation of "Over Tao Qian." © Nachoem Wijnberg. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2011 by David Colmer. All rights reserved.

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