On the Birth of a Son _ Su Tung-Po

I found another poem that is really strong in emotions but is kept in a very succinct  manner. I love it.

On the Birth of a Son

BY SU TUNG-PO

TRANSLATED BY ARTHUR WALEY

Families when a child is born
Hope it will turn out intelligent.
I, through intelligence
Having wrecked my whole life,
Only hope that the baby will prove
Ignorant and stupid.
Then he will crown a tranquil life
And grow into a cabinet minister.
 

Chinese poet, Su Tung-Po, wrote a poem about birth about the unfathomable world that a child would be entering.

It would seem that having that much intelligence would serve as nothing in this world if one is poor [the way Su lived his life in the 12th Century]. I know it’s very cliche but ‘it’s all about the money‘, even today.

There’s also a message about parenthood and for Su to say that ‘he hope[s] that the baby will prove ignorant and stupid] is a hyperbole (I hope) so that the child will live a happier life.

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