Here in the south it’s so hot I feel drunk
after dozing on a bench I opened the north window
it was noon and I couldn’t hear any other sound
just a farm boy pounding tea beyond the bamboo
Note: Written in Yungchou in the summer of 812. During the T’ang dynasty, one of the most common ways of processing tea leaves was to pound them in a mortar after they had been oxidized by a brief exposure to heat from the sun or in a wok. The resulting powder was then whisked with boiling water and drunk. This process has remained in vogue in Japan but more or less disappeared in China 500 years ago. (1220)
From Written in Exile: The Poems of Liu Tsung-yuan translated by Red Pine (aka Bill Porter). Published with permission of Copper Canyon Press. 2019.