Wind

Wind Li Jiao (645-714)  I watch the autumn leaves unwind and fall—Perhaps they’ll bloom an early springtime dayOr sail the river waves a thousand milesTo join ten thousand bamboo canes a-sway.   Chinese 風李嶠 解落三秋葉能開二月花過江千尺浪入竹萬竿斜 Pronunciation FēngLǐ Jiào Jiě luò sān qiū yèNéng kāi èr yuè huāGuò jiāng qiān chǐ làngRù …

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Crossing the Yangtze River

Crossing the Yangtze River Du Shenyan (645-708)  Late afternoon, this garden grove, where ancient sorrow roams;It’s spring, but birds and blossoms too do fill the edge with dread.Alone, expelled, down south in savage lands, my homeland far—The Yangtze River water flow shows not its northern tread.   …

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At Yi River, Seeing Off a Friend

In ancient times a troubled king did send,Along this very spot, a hero bold—And though those men have drowned in time’s lost flood,These waters now are just as dark and cold.   Chinese 於易水送人駱賓王 此地別燕丹壯士發衝冠昔時人已沒今日水猶寒 Pronunciation Yú Yì Shuǐ Sòng RénLuò Bīn wáng Cǐ dì bié yān dānZhuàng shì fà …

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Cold Meal Night

Cold Meal Night Cui Daorong (~895)  In Manchu land the pears now blossom whiteAs moonlight broken by the blowing wind.Here all the people fast for Cold Meal Night;I gaze at home alone—cast off and thin.   Chinese 寒食夜崔道融 滿地梨花白風吹碎月明大家寒食夜獨貯望鄉情 Pronunciation Hán Shí YèCuī Dàoróng Mǎn dì lí huā báiFēng chuī suì …

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A Nightly Song

A Nightly Song Shen Yue (441-513)  I leave the door ajar for you to comeBut every night we part before it’s bright;The moonlight shines across my pillowcaseTo hide in bed between the lantern’s light.   Chinese 夜夜曲瀋約 北鬥闌幹去夜夜心獨傷月輝橫射枕燈光半隱床 Pronunciation Yè Yè QūShěn Yuē Běi dǒu lán gān qùYè yè xīn dú …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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