Poems of Bai Juyi
On Dreaming I Was Idly Drinking Bad Wine and Finding Myself Behind Schedule
When you're young, you don't worry about money.
Once you're old, you cherish your money for wine.
Already ten thousand dippers full of cheap stuff
And we owe each other money all the time.
Idly playing fancy drinking games, poor classic scholars.
Drunken smiles, clear recitations, better than music any time.
Even better when we're waiting for chrysanthemum homebrew.
Together, we're always drunk. But then, we're happy, too.
It is 838. Bai Juyi is sixty-six. And he still knows how to have a good time with his friends. Judging from his poems and their prefaces, most of his friends are older than he is. So who, among these old guys is brewing chrysanthemum wine? And how good is it? Note that he is still working as the Senior Tutor for the Crown Prince and pulling down a huge salary, plus grain allowance. He won't actually retire for good for three more years.