Keep Oppo Idiotic.

From an inscription by the eighteenth century painter Shitao:

To keep my door closed all year around was very common;

Once I went out to the countryside I suddenly became quite wild.

On the narrow paths I didn’t encounter those I have to politely greet;

In the wildness I rested my back choosing my own poetic friend.

Not because we had parted for a long time, but due to our spiritual affinity,

We rejoiced and loosed our gowns.

I laughed aloud at myself in Baocheng;

Being drunk I wrote the poem with red trees all over the sky.

Last year, with Su Yimeng and Xiao Zheng I again went to Baocheng to see the red leaves in the region. As I returned home, deeply drunk, I playfully wrote this poem, but did not create the painting. This year I paid a visit to Master Songgao and viewed the scroll of Zhuxi that I painted for him in the past. He asked, “I wish you could use ten thousand dots of vermilion and rouge to sketch a painting of a man drunk in autumn woods for me. What do you think?” I replied, “I shall fulfill your wish in three days.” Upon returning home, I let go of myself and playfully painted this and added an inscription.


White clouds and red trees over the wild fields,

Some people are leaving and some are returning.

Yesterday I went to the countryside to look around;

Various treasures spread over the blue mountains.

Men got drunk with grasses and trees;

When the west wind stops blowing, we will try to awake.

Not knowing what great refinement means,

Being old I have become more interested in the silly and idiotic.

In ancient times Hutou was incomparable in three realms. Now I am idiotic in three realms: an idiotic man, idiotic words, and idiot painting. True idiocy is hard to come by. I am presenting this idiotic work to my venerable elder Song, which embodies the true idiocy I have attained for a laugh from him.

In an instant, mist and clouds can resurrect antiquity;

Leaves as red as if they were burning fill the whole sky.

I invite you to get totally drunk under my black brush,

Lying back to watch falling leaves swirl in the frosty forest.

Next day I added a quatrain for a laugh from Master Songgao.


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