More Not-Friday Poetry Blogging
I. Spring Thoughts Sent to Tzu-An
The mountain road is steep, the stone steps are dangerous;
The hard climb hurts me less than thoughts of you.
Ice melts in a far stream: your voice in its sad tune.
Snow on cold peaks like jade reminds me of you.
Don't listen to the singers, springsick with wine.
Don't call your guests to play chess at night.
Like pine or stone our promise stays,
So I can wait for paired wings to join.
I walk alone in the cold end of winter.
Perhaps we'll meet when the moon is round.
What can I give my absent man?
In the pure light, my tears fall: a poem.
--Yü Hsüan-chi, translated by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung
II. Spring View
The willows trail such glory that the birds are struck dumb.
Evening clouds balance above the eave-shaded hall.
A friend comes, not for conversation,
But to lean on the balustrade and watch the turquoise sky.
--Tran Nhan-tong, translated by Nguyen Ngoc Bich
III. The Spring Is a Cat
On a cat's fur soft as pollen,
The mild Spring's fragrance lingers.
In a cat's eyes round as golden bells,
The mad Spring's flame glows.
On a cat's gently closed lips,
The soft Spring's drowsiness lies.
On a cat's sharp whiskers,
The green Spring's life dances.
--Yi Jang'hi, translated by Chang-soo Koh
All taken from World Poetry: An Anthology of Verse from Antiquity to Our Time, ed. Katharine Washburn et al.