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 ~


Thursday, August 19, 2010

The 300 Tang Dynasty Poems, #36: At a Border Fortress

The Tang Dynasty was a golden age of culture in China. Poetry was especially esteemed. 300 of the best poems of that age were collected into the classic 300 Tang Dynasty Poems. An English translation of the anthology may be read by clicking here.


In the meantime, here is #36, At a Border Fortress:


AT A BORDER-FORTRESS



Cicadas complain of thin mulberry-trees
In the Eighth-month chill at the frontier pass.
Through the gate and back again, all along the road,
There is nothing anywhere but yellow reeds and grasses
And the bones of soldiers from You and from Bing
Who have buried their lives in the dusty sand.
...Let never a cavalier stir you to envy
With boasts of his horse and his horsemanship

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am enjoying looking at the poetry. Thanks for the posting.

Rick said...

The 300 Tang Dynasty poems are certainly beautiful.