Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bai Juyi (772-846)

Night Snow
Bai Juyi

I was surprised my quilt and pillow were cold,
I see that now the window's bright again.
Deep in the night, I know the snow is thick,
I sometimes hear the sound as bamboo snaps.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Li Ching-Chao (1084-1151)

 Spring In Wu-ling
by Li Ching-jau (Southern Sung Period, 1135 A.D.)

The wind is still,
The earth smells sweet;
The flowers all have fallen here.

As evening comes,
I comb my hair.

His things remain
But he is gone;
So everything's over.

When I try to speak
The tears well up.

I hear that spring's
Still at its height
At Double Creek ...

I think of going to sail
The light skiffs there,
But alas, I fear
The grasshopper-boats
At Double Creek
Could never bear
So great a weight
Of sorrow.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Hsu Yun (1840-1959)!!

Baoxi Tiefo Temple in Shanxi

If you walk deep into the forest,
At the edge of the white clouds,
You'll find a temple.

The pines are old - as many years as there are wiggles on a dragon.
The cliffs are too steep even for tigers to sleep on.

As cold day starts to invade the heavens,
The sound of chanted sutras purifies your ears.

Dare I inquire after Old Pang Mei - Old Big Eyebrows?
How long has he managed to live here?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wang Wei (699-761)


In the slant of the sun on the country-side,
Cattle and sheep trail home along the lane;
And a rugged old man in a thatch door
Leans on a staff and thinks of his son, the herdboy.
There are whirring pheasants? full wheat-ears,
Silk-worms asleep, pared mulberry-leaves.
And the farmers, returning with hoes on their shoulders,
Hail one another familiarly.
...No wonder I long for the simple life
And am sighing the old song, Oh, to go Back Again!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Du Fu (712-770)


Who is lovelier than she?
Yet she lives alone in an empty valley.
She tells me she came from a good family
Which is humbled now into the dust.
...When trouble arose in the Kuan district,
Her brothers and close kin were killed.
What use were their high offices,
Not even shielding their own lives? --
The world has but scorn for adversity;
Hope goes out, like the light of a candle.
Her husband, with a vagrant heart,
Seeks a new face like a new piece of jade;
And when morning-glories furl at night
And mandarin-ducks lie side by side,
All he can see is the smile of the new love,
While the old love weeps unheard.
The brook was pure in its mountain source,
But away from the mountain its waters darken.
...Waiting for her maid to come from selling pearls
For straw to cover the roof again,
She picks a few flowers, no longer for her hair,
And lets pine-needles fall through her fingers,
And, forgetting her thin silk sleeve and the cold,
She leans in the sunset by a tall bamboo.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Shih King (11th-7th cent.BC)

    • Waterfowl their mates are calling,§
    • On the islets in the stream.
    • Chaste and modest maid! fit partner
    • For our lord (thyself we deem).
           ’Twas this chaste and modest maiden
  • He hath sought for, morn and night.
  • Seeking for her, yet not finding,
  • Night and morning he would yearn
  • Ah, so long, so long!—and restless
  • On his couch would toss and turn.
    • Waterlilies, long or short ones,—
    • Gather, right and left, their flowers.
    • Now the chaste and modest maiden
    • Lute and harp shall hail as ours.
    • Long or short the waterlilies,
    • Pluck them left and pluck them right.
    • To the chaste and modest maiden
    • Bell and drum§ shall give delight.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Jia Dao (779-843)

Green Dragon Temple's Mirror Room

In the past, one evening I stayed here,
In the Mirror Room on Complete South Mountain.
Lonely candle, an abandoned perch on a ridge,
Chime of stone bells blizzard scattered.
Old trees crack in the cold,
Deep spring water frozen stiff.
Careless and lazy, so much left undone,
I've lost my path to the Way.
Jia Dao :

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Lao Tzu (5th.cent.BC)

Tao Te Ching


Dao is an empty vessel,
used without ever being filled,
unfathomably deep, the source of all things,
where sharpness blunts,
knots untangle,
glare mellows,
dust coalesces. So hidden, in nonbeing it is being.
Who knows whose child it is,
this ancestor of the gods?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Meiyao Chen (1002-1060)

A Rural Home
The cock crows three times; the sky is almost light.
Someone’s lined up bowls of rice, along with flasks of tea.
Anxiously, the peasants rush to start the ploughing early,
I pull aside the willow shutter and gaze at the morning stars.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Xiao Kang (?)


To sting deep inside your blood –
Should be the best way to remember forever
So that you will never forget –
The pain from memory
Awake, do not sleep any longer.
Xiao Kang :

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Han Shan (fl.9th cent.)

Cold Cliff's remoteness
Is what I love
No one travels this way
Clouds lie around on the peaks
A lone gibbon howls on the ridge
What else do I cherish?
It's good to grow old content
Cold and heat change my
Appearance;the pearl
Of my mind stays safe

Monday, January 18, 2016

Anon. (1st. cent. BC)


Anon. (first century B.C.).
A poor man determines to go out into the world and make his fortune. His wife tries to detain him.
I went out at the eastern gate:I never thought to return.But I came back to the gate with my heart full of sorrow.

There was not a peck of rice in the bin:There was not a coat hanging on the pegs.So I took my sword and went towards the gate.My wife and child clutched at my coat and wept:“Some people want to be rich and grand:I only want to share my porridge with you.Above, we have the blue waves of the sky:Below, the yellow face of this little child.”“Dear wife, I cannot stay.Soon it will be too late.When one is growing oldOne cannot put things off.”

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Jia Dao (779-843)

Winter Night Sendoff

At dawn you mount, ride swiftly over the village bridge,
Petals fall on Plum Stream, snow still frozen.
Short days, frigid sky, I grieve at your departure,
Endless Chu Mountains, your road ever remote.
Jia Dao :

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Tao Chien (365-427)

In youth I could not do what everyone else did;
It was my nature to love the mountains and hills.
By mistake I got caught in the dusty snare,
I went away and stayed for thirteen years.

My house measures ten mou or more,
a thatch roof covers eight or nine spans.
Around my door and yard no dust or noise.
In my bare rooms, no busyness.
After so long a prisoner in a cage
I have returned to things as they are [i.e., Nature].

Cao Zhi (192-232)

Quatrain of Seven Steps — By Cao Zhi

曹植 《七步诗》

Quatrain of Seven Steps
By Cao Zhi

People burn the beanstalk to boil beans,
The beans in the pot cry out.
We are born of the selfsame root,
Why should you torment me so much?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Anon. (circa.124 BC)


Anon. (circa 124 B.C.)
They fought south of the Castle,They died north of the wall.They died in the moors and were not buried.Their flesh was the food of crows.“Tell the crows we are not afraid;We have died in the moors and cannot be buried.Crows, how can our bodies escape you?”The waters flowed deepAnd the rushes in the pool were dark.The riders fought and were slain:Their horses wander neighing.By the bridge there was a house.[7]Was it south, was it north?The harvest was never gathered.How can we give you your offerings?You served your Prince faithfully,[34] Though all in vain.I think of you, faithful soldiers;Your service shall not be forgotten.For in the morning you went out to battleAnd at night you did not return.
[7] There is no trace of it left. This passage describes the havoc of war. The harvest has not been gathered: therefore corn-offerings cannot be made to the spirits of the dead.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Du Mu (803-852)

After I climb the chill mountain's steep stone paths,
Deep in the white clouds there are homes of men.
I stop my carriage, and sit to admire the maple-grove at nightfall,
Whose frozen leaves are redder than the flowers of early Spring.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Anon (1st cent.BC)


In a narrow road where there was not room to passMy carriage met the carriage of a young man.And while his axle was touching my axleIn the narrow road I asked him where he lived.“The place where I live is easy enough to find,Easy to find and difficult to forget.The gates of my house are built of yellow gold,[33] The hall of my house is paved with white jade,On the hall table flagons of wine are set,I have summoned to serve me dancers of Han-tan.[6]In the midst of the courtyard grows a cassia-tree,—And candles on its branches flaring away in the night.”
[6] Capital of the kingdom of Chao, where the people were famous for their beauty.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Wang Wei (699-761)

Deserted mountains - not a man is seen,
Only the sound of voices can be heard.
The sunbeam, entering the deep woods,
Reflects again, on the green moss.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Li Bai (701-762)

Crows Calling at Night
Li Bai

Yellow clouds beside the walls; crows roosting near.
Flying back, they caw, caw; calling in the boughs.
In the loom she weaves brocade, the Qin river girl.
Made of emerald yarn like mist, the window hides her words.
She stops the shuttle, sorrowful, and thinks of the distant man.
She stays alone in the lonely room, her tears just like the rain.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Li Bai (701-762)

You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream and is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among men.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Anon (1st cent.BC)


At fifteen I went with the army,At fourscore I came home.On the way I met a man from the village,I asked him who there was at home.“That over there is your house,All covered over with trees and bushes.”Rabbits had run in at the dog-hole,Pheasants flew down from the beams of the roof.In the courtyard was growing some wild grain;And by the well, some wild mallows.I’ll boil the grain and make porridge,I’ll pluck the mallows and make soup.Soup and porridge are both cooked,But there is no one to eat them with.I went out and looked towards the east,While tears fell and wetted my clothes.

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Odes of Chou and the South (11 to 7th cent BC)

The Odes of Chou and the South


The Kuan Chü; mainly allusive. Celebrating the virtue of the bride of King Wên, his quest for her, and welcoming her to his palace.

1Hark! from the islet in the stream the voice
Of the fish hawks that o’er their nest rejoice!
From them our thoughts to that young lady go,
Modest and virtuous, loth herself to show.
Where could be found, to share our prince's state
So fair, so virtuous, and so fit a mate?
2See how the duckweed's stalks, or short or long,
Sway left and right, as moves the current strong!
So hard it was for him the maid to find!
By day, by night, our prince with constant mind p. 2
Sought for her long, but all his search was vain.
Awake, asleep, he ever felt the pain
Of longing thought, as when on restless bed,
Tossing about, one turns his fevered head.
3Here long, there short, afloat the duckweed lies;
But caught at last, we seize the longed-for prize.
The maiden modest, virtuous, coy, is found;
Strike every lute, and joyous welcome sound.
Ours now, the duckweed from the stream we bear,
And cook to use with other viands rare.
He has the maiden, modest, virtuous, bright;
Let bells and drums proclaim our great delight.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Li ShangYin (813-858)

After I climb the chill mountain's steep stone paths,
Deep in the white clouds there are homes of men.
I stop my carriage, and sit to admire the maple-grove at nightfall,
Whose frozen leaves are redder than the flowers of early Spring.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Ch'u Yuan (332-295BC)


By Ch’ü Yüan (332-295 B.C.), author of the famous poem “Li Sao,” or “Falling into Trouble.” Finding that he could not influence the conduct of his prince, he drowned himself in the river Mi-lo. The modern Dragon Boat Festival is supposed to be in his honour.
“We grasp our battle-spears: we don our breast-plates of hide.The axles of our chariots touch: our short swords meet.Standards obscure the sun: the foe roll up like clouds.Arrows fall thick: the warriors press forward.They menace our ranks: they break our line.The left-hand trace-horse is dead: the one on the right is smitten.The fallen horses block our wheels: they impede the yoke-horses!”
They grasp their jade drum-sticks: they beat the sounding drums.Heaven decrees their fall: the dread Powers are angry.
The warriors are all dead: they lie on the moor-field.They issued but shall not enter: they went but shall not return.[24] The plains are flat and wide: the way home is long.
Their swords lie beside them: their black bows, in their hand.Though their limbs were torn, their hearts could not be repressed.They were more than brave: they were inspired with the spirit of “Wu.”[2]Steadfast to the end, they could not be daunted.Their bodies were stricken, but their souls have taken Immortality—Captains among the ghosts, heroes among the dead.
[2] I.e., military genius.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Anon (1st cent.BC)


Anon. (first century B.C.)
In the eastern quarter dawn breaks, the stars flicker pale.The morning cock at Ju-nan mounts the wall and crows.The songs are over, the clock[5] run down, but still the feast is set.[31] The moon grows dim and the stars are few; morning has come to the world.At a thousand gates and ten thousand doors the fish-shaped keys turn;Round the Palace and up by the Castle, the crows and magpies are flying.
[5] A water-clock.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Anon (3rd cent BC)


She had been ill for years and years;She sent for me to say something.She couldn’t say what she wantedBecause of the tears that kept coming of themselves.“I have burdened you with orphan children,With orphan children two or three.Don’t let our children go hungry or cold;If they do wrong, don’t slap or beat them.When you take out the baby, rock it in your arms.[30] Don’t forget to do that.”Last she said,“When I carried them in my arms they had no clothesAnd now their jackets have no linings.” [She dies.
I shut the doors and barred the windowsAnd left the motherless children.When I got to the market and met my friends, I wept.I sat down and could not go with them.I asked them to buy some cakes for my children.In the presence of my friends I sobbed and cried.I tried not to grieve, but sorrow would not cease.I felt in my pocket and gave my friends some money.When I got home I found my childrenCalling to be taken into their mother’s arms.I walked up and down in the empty roomThis way and that a long while.Then I went away from it and said to myself“I will forget and never speak of her again.”

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Anon. (first cent.BC)

Anon. (first century B.C.)
To be an orphan,To be fated to be an orphan.How bitter is this lot!When my father and mother were aliveI used to ride in a carriage[28] With four fine horses.
But when they both died,My brother and sister-in-lawSent me out to be a merchant.In the south I travelled to the “Nine Rivers”And in the east as far as Ch’i and Lu.At the end of the year when I came homeI dared not tell them what I had suffered—Of the lice and vermin in my head,Of the dust in my face and eyes.My brother told me to get ready the dinner.My sister-in-law told me to see after the horses.I was always going up into the hallAnd running down again to the parlour.My tears fell like rain.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Xue Tao (768-831)

A Spring In Autumn

Behind a ribbon of evening mist, a chill sky distills,
and a melody of far waterfalls like ten silk strings
comes to my pillow to tug my feelings,
keeping me awake in sorrow past midnight.
Xue Tao :

Friday, January 1, 2016

Liu Yuxi (772-842)

秋風引 Summer Dying

何处秋风至? Whence comes the autumn's whistling blast,
肃肃送雁群。 With flocks of wild geese hurrying past? . . . .
朝来入庭樹, Alas, when wintry breezes burst,
孤客最先闻。 The lonely traveller hears them first!