Sunday, October 9, 2011
Du Fu (712-770)
The flock of chickens starts to call wildly,
As guests arrive, the chickens begin to fight.
I drive the chickens up into the tree,
And now I hear the knock on the wicker gate.
Four or five elders from the village,
Ask how long and far I have been travelling.
Each of them brings something in his hands,
We pour the clear and thick wine in together.
They apologise because it tastes so thin,
There's no-one left to tend the millet fields.
Conscription still continues without end,
The children are campaigning in the east.
I ask if I can sing a song for the elders,
The times so hard, I'm ashamed by these deep feelings.
I finish the song, look to heaven and sigh,
Everyone around is freely weeping.