Wednesday, January 3, 2018

On The Highest Tower In White Emperor Castle

On The Highest Tower In White Emperor Castle

on the walls the way’s sharp, narrow: in waning sun, pennants
signal mourning—
one stands alone on the misty tower’s soaring heights—

in the gorge cleft: cloud and fog where dragon and tiger sleep—
the sun-drenched Yangzi enfolds roaming turtles and alligators

western limbs of the Fusang Tree meet this severed stone;
eastern shadow of the Ruo River accompanies its long current

what son of man leans on his gooesfoot cane sighing for this
he weeps blood into thin air, turns his white head away

translation © Jack Hayes 2018
based on Du Fu: 白帝城最高樓
báidìchéng zuì gāo lóu

Note: This is a much more conventional reading of a poem Sheila Graham-Smith & I worked on (& posted) earlier.

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
Temple of the White Emperor, Baidicheng: photo by Wiki user Tomasz Dunn, [] who makes it available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. []

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