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Issue #1606 - Monday, November 3, 2003 - Editor: Jerry
Thanks to Liliana for sending the images of China, which inspired a search for the poetry which was found at http://www.chinapage.com/poetry9.html
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.
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.
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.
The year is ended, and it only adds to my age;
Spring has come, but I must take leave of my home.
Alas, that the trees in this eastern garden,
Without me, will still bear flowers.
Su Ting (670-727)
I built my cottage among the habitations of men,
And yet there is no clamor of carriages and horses.
You ask: "Sir, how can this be done?"
"A heart that is distant creates its own solitude."
I pluck chrysanthemums under the eastern hedge,
Then gaze afar towards the southern hills.
The mountain air is fresh at the dusk of day;
The flying birds in flocks return.
In these things there lies a deep meaning;
I want to tell it, but have forgotten the words.
Tr. Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping
To what can our life on earth be likened?
To a flock of geese,
alighting on the snow.
Sometimes leaving a trace of their passage.
It's all ordinary experience,
All ordinary images.
By chance they emerge in a dream,
Turning out infinite new patterns.
It's all ordinary feelings,
All ordinary words.
By chance they encounter a poet,
Turning out infinite new verses.
Once intoxicated, one learns the strength of wine,
Once smitten, one learns the power of love:
You cannot write my poems
Just as I cannot dream your dreams.
Hu Shih (1891-1962) Translated by Kai Yu Hsu
Hear poetry read in Chinese at http://www.chinapage.com/readpoem.html
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