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…

Night Mooring at Maple Bridge, Zhang Ji

The moon sets, the crows cry, the air is full of frostRiver Maples and fires on fishing boats are the answer to a worried sleepIn Gusu, the bells of Hanshan Temple ringIn the middle of the night, to welcome a guest on a boat La lune se couche, les corbeaux caquetent, le ciel est plein…

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…

Waking from a Stupor on a Spring Day (春日醉起言志) Li Bai

Life in this world is but a dream, Why spoil it with work or worry? So, saying, I was drunk all day long, now Helplessly lying on the porch at my front door… Waking from a Stupor on a Spring Day (春日醉起言志), Li Bai Chinese and pinyin 處世若大夢, 胡爲勞其生. 所以終日醉, 頹然臥前楹. Chǔshì ruò dà mèng,…