The River Village
Translated by Florence Ayscough and Amy Lowell
The river makes a bend and encircles the village with its current.
All the long Summer, the affairs and occupations of the river village are quiet and simple.
The swallows who nest in the beams go and come as they please.
The gulls in the middle of the river enjoy one another, they crowd together and touch one another.
My old wife paints a chess-board on paper.
My little sons hammer needles to make fish-hooks.
I have many illnesses, therefore my only necessities are medicines.
Besides these, what more can so humble a man as I ask?
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 7, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.
“The River Village” first appeared in Fir-Flower Tablets (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1921).