Ask me why I remain in the wooded mountains.
Smiles but no answers lie in my passive heart.
Peach blossoms on flowing water travel far.
Parted from mankind, I have sky and earth.

For fun, I just “translated” this poem by Li Bai (or Li Po) who lived about A.D. 701 to 762. He is China’s most renowned classical poet, lived a wildly romantic life full of many changes, and has thousands of poems attributed to him. Much of his poetry reflects his strong association with Taoist philosophy, which he came to admire later in life. Although classical Chinese poetry often relates peach blossoms with human life, this poem most likely contains a reference, even more specifically, to the legend of the Peach Blossom Source. Told in many versions, this simple story describes a small rural town lost in the mountains where the unremarkable patterns of village life continue forever, sheltered and unchanged. Taoists, in particular, perpetuated and valued the myth of the Peach Blossom Source. Here’s several other translations of the poem which is often titled (in English) “Question and Answer on the Mountain” or just “Green Mountain.”

Literal character translation by Brad Wilson:
Ask me what reason stay green mountain
Smile but not answer heart self idle
Peach blossom flow water far go
Apart have heaven earth in human world

Tr. Brad Wilson:
They ask me why I stay in these green mountains,
And I smile, but I need not answer—my heart is at peace.
It is the peach-blossom flowing far off along the water:
Apart, so it can have heaven and earth in this human world.

Tr. Vikram Seth:
They ask me why I live in the green mountains.
I smile and don’t reply; my heart’s at ease.
Peach blossoms flow downstream, leaving no trace –
And there are other earths and skies than these.

Tr. Sam Hamill:
You ask why I make my home in the mountain forest,
and I smile, and am silent,
and even my soul remains quiet:
it lives in the other world
which no one owns.
The peach trees blossom,
The water flows.

Tr. Mark Alexander:
You ask for what reason I stay on the green mountain,
I smile, but do not answer, my heart is at leisure.
Peach blossom is carried far off by flowing water,
Apart, I have heaven and earth in the human world.

Tr. A. S. Kline:
You ask me why I live on Green Mountain?
I smile in silence and the quiet mind.
Peach petals blow on mountain streams
To earths and skies beyond Humankind.

Tr. unknown:
Ask me
Why I stay on Green Mountain?
I smile but do not answer
My heart is at ease
Peach blossoms on gently flowing water
Slip away into the distance
This is a world which is not of men

Tr. unknown:
You ask me why I stay up here
Alone on the green mountain
I smile but give no other answer —
And yet my heart’s at leisure.
The peach blossom floats away on the stream
Carried far by the water
Here apart from the human world
I have heaven and earth together.

Tr. unknown:
You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream and is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among men.

Tr. unknown:
You ask why I nestle in the green mountains.
I laugh but answer not – my heart is serene.
Peach blossoms and flowing waters go without a trace.
There is another Heaven and Earth beyond the world of man.

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