Poems of Mi Fu
(Thoughts of Return)
Our troubles arise from the bustle of coarse officials.
I look in the mirror and my hair is turning white.
Spiritually, I have always been carefree.
But the prosperity of subtle officials is at an end.
In this place where I excel,
I often lean on the balustrade
And decide to forget about returning.
The mountains are picturesque.
The river winds. The clouds merge.
Without thinking about it, I achieve uselessness.
As one grows older, hope becomes hard to hold onto. One loses the energy of delusion. One forgets about returning home. Mi Fu, a subtle official, has long hoped for the Song to rise and throw off the Jin. But this never happens. The north remains a realm unreturnable. Perhaps, as Mi Fu grows older, he gives up some of his sarcasm. This poem has none. It simply shows us how he feels.