The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

300 Tang Dynasty Poems: #21 With My Brother ...


The Tang Dynasty was a high point in Chinese culture. Poetry was especially esteemed. No event in a person's life, no homecoming or leavetaking, was complete without an accompanying poem. There is a famous anthology of Tang Dynasty poems called, surprisingly enough, The 300 Tang Dynasty Poems. If you click on the title of this post, you'll be directed to an online version of the anthology. Below is #21. Enjoy.


Five-character-ancient-verse

Wang Changling

WITH MY BROTHER AT THE SOUTH STUDY THINKING IN THE MOONLIGHT OF VICE-PREFECT CUI IN SHANYIN

Lying on a high seat in the south study,

We have lifted the curtain-and we see the rising moon

Brighten with pure light the water and the grove

And flow like a wave on our window and our door.


It will move through the cycle, full moon and then crescent again,

Calmly, beyond our wisdom, altering new to old.


...Our chosen one, our friend, is now by a limpid river --

Singing, perhaps, a plaintive eastern song.


He is far, far away from us, three hundred miles away.

And yet a breath of orchids comes along the wind.

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