Poetry: Song of a Madman by Yi Saek


Song of a Madman º
by Yi Saek (1328 - 1396)

I am the quite type; turmoil is not my thing;
only a cloud on the wind is in constant motion.
I'm the open type; I don't have hidden agendas;
water in a well cannot flow.
Water, in reflecting an object, shows the beautiful and the ugly;
clouds are insensible; they gather and scatter at will.
When I see heaven's will in nature,
how can I let time pass idly by?
When I have money, I buy wine. No need for second thoughts.
When I have wine, I want flowers. Why hesitate?
I look at the flowers, drink the wine, let my white hair stream free;
I climb East Mountain, enjoy the moon and breeze.

ºTranslated by Kevin O'Rourke
From The Book of Korean Poetry 

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