Master Liu Painted a Portrait of Me in My Old Age and Asked Me to Write a Poem about the Picture
Few hairs, made fewer by the comb;
short moustache, made shorter by the tweezers—
scratching my hair, and twisting my moustache,
when will I ever stop looking for poems?
Editor’s note: Yang Wan-li (T’ing-hsiu: CH’ENG-CHAI YEH-K’E,or “Rustic Man from the Studio of Sincerity” ) was one of the so-called Four Masters of Southern Sung Poetry. His main concern was literature. “In my life I have loved nothing else—I have only loved literature, as other men love beautiful women and I have especially loved poetry,” He wrote over four thousand poems in his lifetime—not including over a thousand early poems which he burned in 1162… [ from: SUNFLOWER SPLENDOR, Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry]