Invitation to Wine
Do you not see how the Yellow River's waters come from the sky,
Racing into the sea and ne'er come back?
Do you not see how grievous your locks in mirrors bright in high chambers,
Though silken-black at morning, changed by night to snow-white?
Oh, my man of spirit,
drink your life in full delight.
Never leave your golden carafe empty in moonlight.
Since heaven gave us the talent, let it not be ruin!
A thousand gold and silver spent, more will turn up again.
Cook a sheep, kill a cow and let the merry be,
We must drink three hundred bowls of wine in high glee.
Dear friends of mine, Cen and Danqiu,
Cheer up, cheer up!
I invite you to wine
Do not put down your cup.
Let me sing you a number!
O, hear! Lend me your willing ear!
What difference will dear and rare dishes make?
If I only want to get drunk and never to wake!
How many great men and sages are forgotten through the ages?
How, but the great drinkers are more famous than sober sages.
The Prince of Poets feast'd in his palace at will,
Ten thousand silvers for a cask of wine, with many a laugh to fill.
Why say, my host, that your money is short?
To drink with you I will sell things of any sort!
My flower-dappled horse,
My thousands-worthy furs,
Hand them to the boy to exchange for good wine,
And we'll drown away the woes of ten thousand generations!
Translation by CXB
Worry not my friend. My blog isn't changing into one about the appreciation of Chinese poetry. Just that I consider this passionate poet by the "God of Poet" or "Poet Immortal" of us makes a perfect overture to the wine harvest festival that celebrates San Mateo, the Patron of La Rioja. Yes, I was there celebrating San Mateo in Logroño as well, drinking as many as three hundred glassful of wine everyday -- though I must admit it was hard done by to take the words of "God of Poet" in reality. Do you not see how the sweet dew of La Rioja's vines rushing into Chaxiubao's gullet? Click here to see the entire Flickr photo set.
Sadly, there are so little information about this adorable wine festival featured in the media. Coverage about it in travel guidebooks can best be described as nominal -- even the official tourism website of La Rioja doesn't have it in English (perennially in the "working on the translation" status).
Unlike them, I have heart and nothing in this world can put out my eternal flame for wine. I want my share of La Rioja at its prime. So off I went. To Logroño, the capital of the La Rioja province. Glad to see that every droplet of my bravado was well spent. Great wine selling at wholesale price, with unbelievably friendly and helpful people. Our bond is close in our love for wine. Just bring in the wine and ignore the barrier in linga.