Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Render Unto Caesar ...

I am thinking about taxes today. The accountant called to tell me he was sending the completed forms which I need to sign and return. Meanwhile he will file the data electronically. I am lazy about learning how to do this electronically myself and the man is a retired IRS accountant so I'm sure everything is totally correct; that assurance is worth paying for.

In my reading of poetry lately, as I've mentioned, I've read a number of translations from early Chinese poets. As we all know, taxes have been around a long, long time and we've heard the Biblical admonishment about rendering unto Caesar ... Here is a poem from Po Chu-I who livee 722-846 CE. He was a tax gatherer -- I wonder what my tax man would have to say about this tax collector's way of life.


After Collecting the Autumn Taxes

From these high walls I look at the town below
where the natives of Pa cluster like a swarm of flies.
How can I govern these people and lead them aright?
I cannot even understand what they say.
But at least I am glad now that the taxes are in.
To learn that in my province there is no discontent.
I fear its prosperity is not due to me
and was only caused by the year's abundant crops.
The papers I have to deal with are simple and few;
My arbor by the lake is leisurely and still.
In the autumn rain the berries fall from the eaves;
at the evening bell the birds return to the wood.
A broken sunlight quavers over the southern porch
were I lie on my couch abandoned to idleness.

2 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Apparently the province of Pa did not have the IRS that provides the citizens with reams of paper to read and fill out -- taxes are a big industry in this country assuring its citizens of non-idleness.

Ladydy5 aka: Diane Yates said...

Well, mine were done and then got and audit from IRS for the year before. Accountant checked and said the IRS was wrong and let them know it. After all they are only clerks working there and clerks make mistakes. Phew!