Farewell, Wang Wei

Translation Note. Songbie, 送别, “Farewell.” Sometimes translated as “Parting Song.”Wang Wei does not identify Nanshan, literally, southern mountains. Likely they are nearby Zhongnan Mountains, sometimes called the Taiyi Mountains, just to the south of the war torn capital of Chang’an. Zhōng nán shān, 終南山. (But see note below.) Dismount while I offer you some wine,I…

Walking in the Mountains, Du Mu

When the busy work of day is done. A leisurely Autumn walk to the mountains outside Chang’an. Transcending time and place, we are once again treated to a spectacular view of maple leaves covered in frost on a mountainside, colorfully glittering in the twilight. As beauty is constructed in each person’s mind, it exists only…

On the Lake, x2

Two short poems by Bai Juyi (772-846), a Chinese poet of the Tang dynasty. Both poems are titled On the Lake, 池上, Chí Shàng. The first poem is about the nearly imperceptible nature of a Buddhist monk. The second about a mischievous child trying to hide his crime. One Mountain monks playing chessHidden in some…

Send Meng this Gift

Mysterious moon in the sky. Some nights, so close, it seems, one can touch it. And even when it is far, far away, good friends can always share it. 赠孟浩然 吾爱孟夫子, 风流天下闻红颜弃轩冕, 白首卧松云醉月频中圣, 迷花不事君高山安可仰, 徒此挹清芬 赠孟浩然, 李 白 A Gift to Meng HaoranMaster Meng, my love. Beloved the world over.Your rosy cheeks replace your courtly crownYour…

Stopping by Su Duan in the Rain

Rain and mud, a walking stick, Lord Su, a feast of dates and pears, fine wine makes good talk. 雨過蘇端杜甫 雞鳴風雨交,久旱雨亦好杖藜入春泥, 無食起我早諸家憶所歷,一飯跡便掃蘇侯得數過,歡喜每傾倒也復可憐人,呼兒具梨棗濁醪必在眼,盡醉攄懷抱紅稠屋角花,碧委牆隅草親賓縱談謔,喧鬧慰衰老況蒙霈澤垂,糧粒或自保妻孥隔軍壘,撥棄不擬道 Stopping By to See Su Duan in the RainDu Fu, 757-759 In wind and rain, a rooster crows. And after a long drought, rain is good.A walking stick, in Spring it’s muddy, I…

Old poems like old friends

Thought One of Four Poems A lonely swan comes from the sea Daring not to land on lake or pond Looking aside, he spies a kingfisher pair Three nesting on a pearled tree Bravely at the tree’s top Have they no fear of stones? For those clothed in beauty invite people pointing And the mighty…

Beyond the Border – Wang Zhihuan

Beyond the Border Where the Yellow River in the far white clouds is arising, A walled fortress stands alone amidst the vast peaks abiding, Under a willow tree, the Qiang flute is sighing, That Spring never blows through the Yumen (Jade) Pass. Understanding Wang Zhihuan’s poem In 710, the young  Princess Jinching, adopted daughter to…

Ascending Stork Tower, Wang Zhihuan

On The Stork Tower By Wang Zhihuan To the furthest mountain, the bright sun shines To the distant sea, the Yellow River flows To get a better view Climb another floor Notes on the poem Only six of Wang’s poems survive today, two are part of the 300 Tang Poems, including “Ascending Stork Tower for…

Meeting Li Guinian at Jiangnan, (South of the River) – Du Fu

Meeting Li Guinian at Jiangnan Often we met at Prince Qi’s Palace and Many times I heard you at Lord Cui’s home and Just now, at Jiangnan, when the earth is its finest When blossoms are falling, we meet again, by chance Notes Poetry, calligraphy, music and art all flourished in the Tang dynasty. But…