Little Red Peach

Red as a peach with a smile on her face,
Face with a smile as a peach in her place.
Willow that hangs and shakes its drapery low,
Low is the willow that hangs as wind does flow.
Waves the blossom as wind and hair entwine,
Entwines the hair and wind, this blossom of mine.
Roams the road as the moon sinks west,
West sinks the moon where the road roams best.
After “Reckless Spirit” (Barbarian Bodhisattva) by Liu Dao (1511-1598)

Bamboo Retreat

Alone, I sit serene within a bamboo grove,
At ease, I strum the lute and hum a song.
Unknown into the forest deep I’ll rove
Until the shining moon has sung along.
Zhú Lǐ Guǎn
Dú zuò yōu huáng lǐ,
Dàn qín fù cháng xiào。
Shēn lín rén bù zhī,
Míng yuè lái xiāng zhào。
Literal Character Translation

Deer Woods

Inside the empty hills I see no men,
The human words I hear are merely echoes.
Returning deep within the woods again,
The light reflects atop, where green moss grows.

Lù Chái
Kōng shān bù jiàn rén,
Dàn wén rén yǔ xiǎng。
Fǎn jǐng rù shēn lín,
Fù zhào qīng tái shàng。
Literal Character Translation

Returning to the Lake Pavilion at Night

As the sun dies down I lie in the lake pavilion,
Heart disturbed and drawn by various affairs;
Sleep ruined, I wake and drink, intoxicated,
Sitting and waiting in the cool night air.
Rain in the pines has sent my rattan hat afloat,
The river wind has pierced my hempen clothes:
Walking by willows, never tired of this path,
The sand is soft like cotton in falling snow.
Original Chinese poem by Bai Juyi

Facing the Rain at a Distant Post

The wind beats down this building cold,
Twisting amidst the morning mist
As I carry on with my bleak new post:
Though fog weighs down, a tree persists.
This tedious land, with nothing around,
I sit once more in silent reflection—
I go out for a while to wet my clothes
And look for you in a far-off direction.
Original Chinese poem by Wei Yingwu


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