Treasure Island

Bai Juyi

(772–846 / Taiyuan, Shanxi)

Eating Bamboo Shoots


My new province is a land of bamboo-groves:
Their shoots in spring fill the valleys and hills.
The mountain woodman cuts an armful of them
And brings them down to sell at the early market.
Things are cheap in proportion as they are common;
For two farthings, I buy a whole bundle.
I put the shoots in a great earthen pot
And heat them up along with boiling rice.
The purple nodules broken – like an old brocade;
The white skin opened – like new pearls.
Now every day I eat them recklessly;
For a long time I have not touched meat.
All the time I was living at Lo-yang
They could not give me enough to suit my taste,
Now I can have as many shoots as I please;
For each breath of the south-wind makes a new bamboo

Submitted: Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Edited: Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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