27 December 2011

POEMS FOR WINTER

Suddenly colder but I've built a good fire and my mother is warm in her room.

Tassia and Kosta brought me a bottle of Jack Daniel's. Some sips as I take down my father's books of poems.

Poets various.

Feelings on Watching the Moon ~ Bai Juyi

The times are hard: a year of famine has emptied the fields,
My brothers live abroad- scattered west and east.
Now fields and gardens are scarcely seen after the fighting,
Family members wander, scattered on the road.
Attached to shadows, like geese ten thousand li apart,
Or roots uplifted into September's autumn air.
We look together at the bright moon, and then the tears should fall

night snow

I was surprised my quilt and pillow were cold,
I see that now the window's bright again.
Deep in the night, I know the snow is thick,
I sometimes hear the sound as bamboo snaps.

returning late

The mountain road is hard to travel, the sun now slanting down,
In a misty village, a crow lands on a frosted tree.
I'll not arrive before night falls, but that should not concern me,
Once I've drunk three warm cups, I'll feel as if at home.

spring sleep

The pillow's low, the quilt is warm, the body smooth and peaceful,
Sun shines on the door of the room, the curtain not yet open.
Still the youthful taste of spring remains in the air,
Often it will come to you even in your sleep.

sleeping on a night of autumn rain

It's cold this night in autumn's third month,
Peacefully within, a lone old man.
He lies down late, the lamp already gone out,
And beautifully sleeps amid the sound of rain.
The ash inside the vessel still warm from the fire,
Its fragrance increases the warmth of quilt and covers.
When dawn comes, clear and cold, he does not rise,
The red frosted leaves cover the steps

8 comments :

Simon Baddeley said...

Beautiful. Thanks. Chinese seems able to do without prepositions and verbs...They say 'Level sea dusk wide'. We say 'Darkness falls beside the level sea.' It's having a language that's part word, part picture.

Corfu Bluesman said...

These are brilliant. Can I obtain a copy?

Jim

Corfu Bluesman said...

Did your father write poems himself, or translate any of these?

I always read Ancient Chinese poetry when up in the mountains of Zagori
Jim

Corfu Bluesman said...

See for instance

http://corfublues.blogspot.com/2010/09/from-two-chinese-poems-up-in-zagori.html

Corfu Bluesman said...

And more

http://corfublues.blogspot.com/2010/09/from-two-more-chinese-poems-in.html

Corfucius said...

i can send u my typescript i typed out.

Corfucius said...

dad may have written but he never told us. he seems to have attempted some translations/annotations

Corfu Bluesman said...

Thanks.