Fisherman’s Gully

Fisherman’s Gully Huangfu Ran (716-769)  I’d like for us to chase the tides beyond,But time is up for us as fishing men;Now face-to-face, aware we will not meet—The end has come, we must begin again.   Chinese 漁子溝皇甫冉 欲逐淮潮上暫停漁子溝相望知不見終是屢回頭 Pronunciation Yú Zǐ GōuHuángfǔ Rǎn Yù zhú huái cháo shàngZàn tíng yú …

Read More

A Play for Cold Meal Day

A Play for Cold Meal Day Lu Yanrang (~ 900)  On Twelfth Street here it’s like a packed bazaar,A world of dust that’s choked and cannot clear;We work like ox until our sweat pours out,No time to sit and watch the flowers near.   Chinese 寒食日戲盧延讓 十二街如市紅塵咽不開灑蹄驄馬汗沒處看花來 Pronunciation Hán Shí …

Read More

Cicadas

Cicadas Yu Shinan (558-638)  He dangles down to drink the clear light dew,Exuding sound through the green leaf brush;And flowing far and wide, his voice flies onWithout the need of wind from autumn’s rush.   Chinese 蟬虞世南 垂緌飲清露流響出疏桐居高聲自遠非是藉秋風 Pronunciation ChánYú Shìnán Chuí suí yǐn qīng lùLiú xiǎng chū shū tóngJū gāo …

Read More

Watching the Plum Blossoms

Watching the Plum Blossoms Lu You (1125-1209)  The plum trees bloom above the gold grass hill —Though old, a man cannot enjoy their fluff?Light mist, the moon, the far-off cattle still —There’s life and death; don’t fret the common stuff.   Chinese 看梅絕句陸游 梅花樹下黃茆丘古人尚能愛花不月淡煙深聽牧笛死生常事不須愁 Pronunciation Kàn Méi Jué JùLù Yóu Méi …

Read More

For Li Ju, Scholar

For Li Ju, Scholar Sikong Tu (~720–790)  The winds blow high before the five long peaksTo bring the life that lifts us from our flaws;For miles around, no clouds – a lonely crane –It seems the same, but he’s in heaven’s jaws.   Chinese 李居士司空圖 高風隻在五峰前應是精靈降作賢萬裏無雲惟一鶴鄉中同看卻升天 Pronunciation Lǐ Jū ShìSīkōng …

Read More

Wandering to a New Town

Wandering to a New Town Li Shunxian (~ 910)  Life’s carriage takes me quick to heaven’s light,But here I pause to part this world of dust;Alone, afraid, pursuing dreams of flight,Yet here I’m old with dread, and leave I must.   Chinese 隨駕遊青城李舜弦 因隨八馬上仙山頓隔塵埃物象閑隻恐西追王母宴卻憂難得到人間  Pronunciation Suí Jià Yóu Qīng ChéngLǐ …

Read More

Midnight Song 2

Midnight Song 2 Xiao Yan, Emperor Wu of Liang (464-549)  The morning sunshine strokes the window silkAs wind and light together play with strings;She smiles with subtle ease and lifts her eyesAs when a butterfly brings up its wings.   Chinese 子夜歌 二蕭衍 朝日照綺窗光風動紈羅巧笑蒨兩犀美目揚雙蛾 Pronunciation Zǐ Yè Gē ÈrXiāo Yǎn Zhāo …

Read More

Farewell to Meng Haoran

 My dear old friend who’s parting WestBeneath the Yellow Towers;While falling on the Yangzhou landsAre mists and springtime flowers. Your orphan boat’s a distant shade,That sails where blue skies go;I look upon the water tides—Until the end they flow.  By Li Bai, tr. from the Chinese by …

Read More