Chinese Procrastination

I often joke about procrastination with my Chinese friend at work. As you would expect, a culture as old as China’s would have much to say about procrastination. Jiangyan very nicely translated these Chinese poems for me

Song of Tomorrow
Written by Qian, Fu (1461­1504 probably) at Ming dynasty

Tomorrow follows tomorrow, how many tomorrows one will have!
he keeps waiting day after day, and surely no achievement he can make.
If he keeps putting off till tomorrow, soon the spring is over and the fall is there, and he is getting old.
In the mornings, he watches the stream flows to the east, in the evenings, he sees the sun sets.
How many tomorrows are there in a hundred years? Please listen to my Song of Tomorrow!

Poem of Today
Written by WenJia (1501 1583) at Ming dynasty

Today follows today, how few todays one has!
If he doesn’t do today, when can it be done!
How many todays one will have for a hundred year’s of life, what a pity if there is no action today!
If you say just wait until tomorrow, you will have something else for tomorrow.
I’m writing the Poem of Today for you, please just working hard from today.

Ballad of Yesterday
Written by not known

Yesterday and yesterday, how nice was yesterday!
But yesterday was over, today you can only get annoyed.
People just know to regret yesterday, without realizing that today is passing by…
Rivers are flowing day by day, flowers are falling less and less.
To make achievement you need to start from today, not regret by tomorrow.

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