Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Du Fu (712-770)

Winding River (1)
Du Fu

Each piece of flying blossom leaves spring the less,
I grieve as myriad points float in the wind.
I watch the last ones move before my eyes,
And cannot have enough wine pass my lips.
Kingfishers nest by the little hall on the river,
Unicorns lie at the high tomb's enclosure.
Having studied the world, one must seek joy,
For what use is the trap of passing honour?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Du Fu (712-770)

Tangshi I. 1. (10)

Du Fu
Alone in Her Beauty
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.

Li Bai (701-762)

Tangshi I. 1. (5)

Li Bai
Down Zhongnan Mountain to the Kind Pillow and Bowl of Husi
Down the blue mountain in the evening,
Moonlight was my homeward escort.
Looking back, I saw my path
Lie in levels of deep shadow....
I was passing the farm-house of a friend,
When his children called from a gate of thorn
And led me twining through jade bamboos
Where green vines caught and held my clothes.
And I was glad of a chance to rest
And glad of a chance to drink with my friend....
We sang to the tune of the wind in the pines;
And we finished our songs as the stars went down,
When, I being drunk and my friend more than happy,
Between us we forgot the world.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)

Exhausted With Gay Pleasures

Exhausted with gay pleasures, I embrace my wife.
The narrow path of asceticism is not for me:
My mind runs in the opposite direction.
It is easy to be glib about Zen -- I’ll just keep my mouth shut
And rely on love play all the day long.
Ikkyu Sojun :

Ho Xuan Huong (1772-1822)

The Fan

Are you seventeen or eighteen?(1)
Let me cherish you by all means.
Thin or thick you display a triangle, and
Large or small I hold you with one hand.
The more it is hot the fresher you will submit,
Not enough love at night, daytime will make it.
Your cheeks are rose pink and give you grace,
Lords and kings love you because of your face.
Ho Xuan Huong :

Chia Tao (779-843)

Seeing Off Shen Miao, Buddhist Master

Mists of willow catkin
are falling
on the roads
of western Szechwan.

We meet-
then suddenly spring is over;
your teachings imparted,
you go alone,

traveling fast, with rain
in far mountains;
sleeping late, after
a night of storm.

Of the trees
around your cottage-
when you return,
their leaves should be vermilion.
Chia Tao :

Friday, July 1, 2016

Du Mu (803-852)

Entering Shangshan
Du Mu

I enter Shangshan early, under a hundred miles of cloud,
Beneath the bridge a blue stream, the sound of the water divided.
The flowing water's old sound reaches the ears of the old,
This time I cannot bear to listen to its call.