Friday, November 17, 2017

Sent North on a Rainy Night


Sent North on a Rainy Night
               

you ask the date of my return: there’s no date;
in the Ba mountains ponds swell with autumn rain—

when may we again trim wicks by the west window,
and speak together about Ba mountain night rain


based on Li Shangyin: 夜雨寄北
yè yŭ jì běi



Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
“Cloudy Mountains”: Mi Youren; 1130.
Public domain.




Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Taking Down A Trellis


Taking Down A Trellis


the bound sticks already wither & fall;
the gourd’s leaves turn wilted & sparse—

since its white flowers managed to bear fruit
how can green vines not accept this dismantling—

autumn insects’ voices haven’t gone away;
sparrows at dusk: what can they be thinking—

in the cold, things now fall to waste;
human life also has its beginnings


based on Du Fu: 除架
chú jià




Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
“Early Autumn”: Qian Wuan. 13th Century; ink & colors on paper scroll.
Public domain



 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Partridge Sky



Partridge Sky

forest groves cut off mountain dawn, bamboo hides the walls,
cicadas’ hubbub fades in grass by the small pond—
white birds appear reeling & reeling again through the sky,
lotus shines vermilion, its delicate scent on the water—

past the cottages,
near the ancient city,
I stroll quietly on goosefoot cane, turning to the oblique light—
thanks to yesterday’s midnight rain
I get another cool day in this drifting life


Translation by Jack Hayes
© 2017
based on Su Shi: 鷓鴣天
zhè gū tiān


Many thanks as always to Sheila Graham-Smith for her helpful suggestions.


Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
“Autumn Skies Part”: Guo Xi. Song Dynasty – Public domain