Home » Posts tagged 'Poetry'
Tag Archives: Poetry
Below I have translated a Tang Dynasty poem in Classical Chinese, supposedly by a famed courtesan Du Qiuniang, that is included in the Three Hundred Tang Poems. According to Wikipedia in Chinese, the poet Du Mu met Du Qiuniang in her old age and wrote a poem called “The Song of Du Qiuniang.” The preface includes the poem I have translated below, which later readers have interpreted as the work of Du Qiuniang herself.
I entreat you, do not covet that gold-threaded gown,
I entreat you to covet the time of your youth.
Flowers bloom and then are to be plucked,
Do not wait to pluck at a flowerless branch.
My dear, covet not that gold-threaded gown,
Hold fast to the days of your youth.
Flowers in bloom are ripe for picking,
Pluck not at a flowerless branch.
NB: There is a much better English translation by Andrew W.F. Wong available on his blog Classical Chinese Poems in English.
“A Tree That Took Flight”
At the plain’s edge
Right at the cliff over the valley
Stood a tree we wished at for good luck
Watching our comings and goings
That tree towered over us all
Its bark was rubbed smooth
Where small hands could reach
Inside it was too tangled to fathom
Once the wind howled
And at the dawn’s light
That tree was nowhere to be found
“A Tree on a Bluff”
Kieran Maynard (after Zēng Zhuō)
I know not what wind brought this tree
to this flatland’s edge on the bluff;
She listens for the far forest’s clamor
And signing of streams in the rough
It stands by itself all alone
Looking obstinate, and lonely;
Its body a mass of tangles,
It keeps the shape of the wind,
seems about to cave in,
and yet soon to spread wings and take flight.
“A robin cries”
A robin cries,
Blue peaks flash
In the rain
Akimoto Fujio (1901-1977)
Showa-period haiku poet
Born in Yokohama, Japan.
Pen name “Fujio” means “Undying man,” using different Chinese characters for his real name in a play on words.
Photo credit: Robert Cameron.
Take it for me!”
cries the child.
Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827)
Important Edo-period haiku poet
Born in Kashiwabara, Nagano, Japan