Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

More Not-Friday Poetry Blogging

Something about Poetry Friday seems to be eluding me these days. Anyway, here are three lovely short poems about Spring to make amends:

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.