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The lyrical global of chinese language poetry in trustworthy translations by way of Kenneth Rexroth.

The lyric poetry of Tu Fu ranks with the best in all international literature. around the centuries―Tu Fu lived within the T'ang Dynasty (731-770)―his poems come via to us with an immediacy that's breathtaking in Kenneth Rexroth's English models. they're so simple as they're profound, as smooth as they're beautiful.

Thirty-five poems by way of Tu Fu make up the 1st a part of this quantity. The translator then strikes directly to the Sung Dynasty (10th-12th centuries) to provide us a couple of poets of that interval, a lot of whose paintings was once no longer formerly to be had in English. Mei Yao Ch'en, Su Tung P'o, Lu Yu, Chu Hsi, Hsu Chao, and the poetesses Li Ch'iang Chao and Chu Shu Chen. there's a normal advent, biographical and explanatory notes at the poets and poems, and a bibliography of alternative translations of chinese language poetry.

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CHU HSI CVI techniques whereas interpreting The replicate of the pond gleams, part an acre in dimension. The beauty of the sky, And the whiteness of the clouds Are mirrored again upon themselves. I ask the pond the place i will be able to locate anything as natural and obvious. “Only within the springs of the water of lifestyles. ” CHU HSI CVII THE LOCUST SWARM Locusts laid their eggs within the corpse Of a soldier. while the worms have been Mature, they took wing. Their drone used to be ominous, their shells tough. somebody may well inform that they had hatched From an unhappy anger. They flew rapidly in the direction of the North. They concealed the sky like a curtain. while the spouse of the soldier observed them, she became light, her breath Failed her. She knew he was once lifeless In conflict, his corpse misplaced in The barren region. That evening she dreamed She rode a white horse, so quick It left no footprints, and got here To the place he lay within the sand. She checked out his face, eaten via the locusts, and tears of Blood stuffed her eyes. Ever after She wouldn't allow her little ones Injure any insect which may have ate up the lifeless. She could raise her face to the sky And say, “O locusts, in the event you are trying to find a spot to wintry weather, you will find guard in my middle. ” HSU CHAO CVIII PLAINT Spring plants, Autumn moons, Water lilies nonetheless hold Away my center like a misplaced Boat. so long as i'm flesh And bone i'll by no means locate leisure. there'll by no means come a Time while i'll be capable to withstand my feelings. CHU SHU CHEN CIX HYSTERIA whilst i glance within the reflect My face frightens me. i'm terrified of myself. each Spring weak spot overcomes me like A mortal ailment. i'm too Weary to rearrange the vegetation Or paint my face. every thing Bothers me. all of the outdated sorrows Flood again and make the current worse. The crying nightjars terrify me. The mating swallows embarrass me, Flying by way of open air My window. Plucked eyebrows, Weary eyes—that have grown not easy With loneliness. Swallows chirp within the painted eaves—but I Have misplaced the facility Even to dream of happiness. each one new Spring reveals me deeper Tangled and knotted up in bitterness. As all of the international grows extra stunning My bowels are torn with sorrow. Peach blossoms quiver within the gentle of the recent moon at the first Nights of the Season of chilly meals. large willows within the golden Twilight wave their lengthy shadows within the transparent brilliant winds of Spring. Surrounded by way of vegetation, trapped in soreness, I watch the solar set past The roofs of the women’s quarters. CHU SHU CHEN CX SPRING Spring has come. i attempt to put out of your mind the entire previous quarrels and ache. within the mild breeze, within the transparent Brightness all issues may still commence anew. yet why do the birds all hate me? And why do the vegetation betray me? And why do the peach and cherry Blossoms prostrate me? Tears streak The paint on my cheeks. My girdle is just too free for my starved physique. while spring comes with the 3rd moon, i do know i'm a burden To my lord. yet, O my lord, within the 3rd moon of spring the East Wind is a heavy burden to me. CHU SHU CHEN CXI THE previous agony Sheltered from the Spring wind by way of A silver display, I doze in my Folded duvet, chilly and on my own.

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