Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

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 ~

Friday, September 15, 2006

300 Tang Dynasty Poems: #19 IN SUMMER AT THE SOUTH PAVILION

The Tang Dynasty was a high point of art and culture in old China. Poetry was particularly esteemed. If you click on the title of this post, you'll be directed to an online version of The 300 Tang Dynasty Poems, an anthology of some of the very best poems of that era.

Meng Haoran

The mountain-light suddenly fails in the west,
In the east from the lake the slow moon rises.
I loosen my hair to enjoy the evening coolness
And open my window and lie down in peace.
The wind brings me odours of lotuses,
And bamboo-leaves drip with a music of dew....
I would take up my lute and I would play,
But, alas, who here would understand?
And so I think of you, old friend,
O troubler of my midnight dreams !


ms_lili said...

very nice...

Rick Matz said...

These poems capture a moment so well...

ms_lili said...

which one?

Dookie/Tariki said...

Looked this poem up after reading a translation by Michael Farman. Mr Farman translates that "there's no one here to share the music." Reading " alas, who here would understand?" brings out the full poignancy of missing an "old friend." Translation is an art to which we bring ourselves. Thank you.