Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Bamboo and Plum Blossom
Bamboo and Plum Blossom

Friday, September 23, 2016

Chia Tao (779-843)

Abode of the Unplanned Effect

The grass-covered path
is secluded and still,
A closed door faces
the Chungnan Mountains??

In the evening the air’s chilly
but the light rain stops,
At dawn, far off,
a few cicadas start

Leaves fall
where no green earth remains
a person at his ease
wears a plain robe

With simplicity and plainness
his original nature still,
what need to practice
“calming of the heart”

Li Shangyin (813-858)


Boundless the leaves roused by spring,
Countless the twigs which tremble in the dawn.
Whether the willow can love or not,
Never a time when it does not dance.
Blown fluff hides white butterflies,
Drooping bands disclose the yellow oriole.
The beauty which shakes a kingdom must reach through all the body:
Who comes only to view the willow's eyebrows?
Li Shangyin :

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Li Qi (690-751)

Li QiA Lute Song
Our host, providing abundant wine to make the night mellow,
Asks his guest from Yangzhou to play for us on the lute.
Toward the moon that whitens the city-wall, black crows are flying,
Frost is on ten thousand trees, and the wind blows through our clothes;
But a copper stove has added its light to that of flowery candles,
And the lute plays The Green Water, and then The Queen of Chu.
Once it has begun to play, there is no other sound:
A spell is on the banquet, while the stars grow thin....
But three hundred miles from here, in Huai, official duties await him,
And so it's farewell, and the road again, under cloudy mountains.

Li Qi (690-751)

Li QiAn Old Air
There once was a man, sent on military missions,
A wanderer, from youth, on the You and Yan frontiers.
Under the horses' hoofs he would meet his foes
And, recklessly risking his seven-foot body,
Would slay whoever dared confront
Those moustaches that bristled like porcupinequills.
...There were dark clouds below the hills, there were white clouds above them,
But before a man has served full time, how can he go back?
In eastern Liao a girl was waiting, a girl of fifteen years,
Deft with a guitar, expert in dance and song.
...She seems to be fluting, even now, a reed-song of home,
Filling every soldier's eyes with homesick tears.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Du Fu (712-770)

Sighs of Autumn Rain (2)
Du Fu

Ceaseless wind and lengthy rain swirl together this autumn,
The four seas and eight deserts are covered by one cloud.
A horse going, an ox coming, cannot be distinguished,
How now can the muddy Jing and clear Wei be told apart?
The standing grain begins to sprout, the millet's ears turn black,
Farmers and the farmers' wives have no hopeful news.
In the city, a bucket of rice can cost a silken quilt,
And both the buyer and seller have to agree the bargain is fair.

Li Bai (701-762)

Question and Answer on the Mountain
Li Bai

You ask for what reason I stay on the green mountain,
I smile, but do not answer, my heart is at leisure.
Peach blossom is carried far off by flowing water,
Apart, I have heaven and earth in the human world.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Zhang Jiuling (张九龄, 675-740 AD)

 望月怀远 wànɡ yuè huái yuǎn – Looking At The Moon And Thinking Of One Far Away
海上生明月,hǎi shànɡ shēnɡ mínɡ yuèThe moon, grown full now over the sea,
天涯共此时。tiān yá ɡònɡ cǐ shíBrightening the whole of heaven,
情人怨遥夜,qínɡ rén yuàn yáo yèBrings to separated hearts
竟夕起相思。jìnɡ xī qǐ xiānɡ sīThe long thoughtfulness of night….
灭烛怜光满,miè zhú lián ɡuānɡ mǎnIt is no darker though I blow out my candle.
披衣觉露滋。pī yī jué lù zīIt is no warmer though I put on my coat.
不堪盈手赠,bù kān yínɡ shǒu zènɡSo I leave my message with the moon
还寝梦佳期。huán qǐn mènɡ jiā qīAnd turn to my bed, hoping for dreams

Li Bai (701-762)

静夜思 jìng yè sī – Quiet Night Thoughts
床前明月光chuáng qián míng yuè guāngI wake, and moonbeams play around my bed,
疑是地上霜yí shì dì shàng shuāngGlittering like hoar-frost to my wandering eyes;
举头望明月jǔ tóu wàng míng yuèUp towards the glorious moon I raised my head,
低头思故乡dī tóu sī gù xiāngThen lay me down — and thoughts of home arise.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Lan Hua Cao Orchid (Tang.)

Gan Yu - 1

The moon declines
Into the western sea
To be reborn anew

The sun’s journey
Has almost begun
Soon to be ascendant

Bright radiance
Fills the East
The sky bursting

Yet cloudy is the soul
At the moment of dawn

So the Ultimate gives birth
To Heaven and Earth

The three realms
Each in its turn
Waxing and waning

Until arriving
At the essence
Of full understanding

Three realms five times
A new moon begins to rise
Who is capable
Of taking such a journey

感遇 其一


Mei Yaochen (1002-1060)

Staying Overnight with Xie Shihou in the Xu Family Library and Being Bothered By Hearing Rats
Mei Yaochen

The lamp is blue, the men are all asleep,
Hungry rats start to emerge from a hole.
The noise of tumbling cups and plates is loud,
I’m startled by the noise: my dream is ended.
I worry they’ll knock the inkstone from the table,
I’m frightened that they’ll gnaw the books on the shelf.
My silly boy tries to miaow like a cat:
That’s a really daft idea.