Songs of Love, Moon, & Wind: Poems from the Chinese (New Directions Paperbook)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
“Nothing stands still in this poetry: the wind blows the trees, the lake water ripples and the ever-present road runs in and out of the hills.”―American Poetry Review
Moss covered paths between scarlet peonies,
Pale jade mountains fill your rustic windows.
I envy you, drunk with flowers,
Butterflies swirling in your dreams.
This exquisite gift book offers a wide sampling of Chinese verse, from the first century to our own time, beginning with the lyric poetry of Tu Fu, moving to the folk songs of the Six Dynasties Period, on to the Sung Dynasty, and to the present. Also represented are some of the best-known women of Chinese poetry, including Li Ching-chao and Chu Shu-chen. These simple, accessible but profound poems come through to us with a breathtaking immediacy in Kenneth Rexroth’s English versions―a wonderful gift for any lover of poetry.
depths Of our thoughts. This morning Our eyes met, And a hundred emotions Rushed through our veins. LIU YÜ-HSI IN THE EVENING I WALK BY THE RIVER The frozen river is drifted deep with snow. For days, only a few spots near the bank have stayed open. In the evening when everyone has gone home, The cormorants roost on the boats of the fishermen. OU-YANG HSIU DEEP NIGHT Deep night. I cannot sleep. I get up and sing softly to my lute. Moonlight glows in the gauze curtains. I open my
drifting sand. I piled up Learning like a snowball. I crossed mountains and passed Examinations and gave Learned speeches. What did I gain? Better I stayed home And raised prize melons. TSENG KUO-FAN REMORSE Deep in the silent inner room Every fiber of my soft heart Turns to a thousand strands of sorrow. I loved the Spring, But the Spring is gone As rain hastens the falling petals. I lean on the balustrade, Moving from one end to the other. My emotions are still disordered.
Underground Springs. Once gone, life Is over for good. My chest Tightens against me. I have No one to turn to. Nothing, Not even a shadow in a mirror. MEI YAO-CH'EN TO THE TUNE "IMMORTALS ON THE RIVERBANK" How deep, profoundly deep, the courtyard is. The windows are cloudy. Fog penetrates the closed rooms. Pussy willows and plum buds begin to show, As Spring returns to the trees of Nanking. I grow old in this old city. Songs of love, moon, and wind are gone With the past. I am old
CH'ING-CHAO THOUGHTS IN EXILE I lift my head and watch The phoenix and the snowy swan Cross the heavens in their migrations. Wealth, office, position, After all these years, mean nothing to me. The foundered horse no longer Hopes to travel a thousand miles. In exile, in Autumn, I grow lazy and indifferent. In history men have Always been treated like this. I am forbidden to visit the Western Lake. There is no place else I want to go. The wise man, no matter how he is treated,
chrysanthemums. TU FU SPRING ENDS, II Spring is over in the Imperial City. Behind many doors, in my secluded garden The grass is green in front of the staircase. The wild geese have vanished from the evening sky. From my high tower, who now will carry my message so far away? My sorrow is drawn out, endless as silk floss. Too much passion results in too many entanglements. I can no longer get free from it. Once more it is the Day of Cold Food. The swings along the neighboring lanes are