Autumn rains darken azure-deep skies. Stars fall to the broad flat fields, Moon rises from the great river's flow. Ragged clouds are low amid the dusk, Snow dances quickly in the whirling wind. Countryside cries from a thousand homes hearing news of the fighting, Barbaric songs here and there rise from fishers and woodsmen. They can be seen as the naturalists and confessional post-modernists to the brilliantly abstract T'ang modernists.
Even in this winter time, Soldiers from west of the pass keep moving. And even before the question has been answered, The boys and girls have gone to fetch the wine. Towering that trunk, those branches, on the ancient plain, Hidden paintings, red and black, doors and windows empty. Farewell to Kong Chaofu 2324. Du Fu I've heard them say that Chang'an seems like in a game of chess, A hundred years of world events have caused unbearable pain. It seems the hills and rivers have been waiting, The flowers and willows all are selfless now.
Master and servant have each already reached their time's end, The tree, however, still remains, receiving men's devotion. His own greatest ambition was to help his country by becoming a successful civil servant, but he proved unable to make the necessary accommodations. One clump of peach blossom's opened, no-one to own it, Is dark or light red more to be loved? The schoolmates of my early years mostly are not poor, In the five tomb towns their furs and horses light and fat. Du Fu Two golden orioles sing in the green willows, A row of white egrets against the blue sky. As we're told, passing time is always on the move, So little time to know each other: we should not be apart.
The frosted bark, slippery with rain, is forty spans around, Its blackness blends into the sky two thousand feet above. Du Fu On the north bank of the Yellow River, west of the sea, is an army, Hammered drums and sounded bells are heard beneath the sky. The cold wind, moaning, blows against you fiercely, I fear that soon you'll find it hard to stand. Du Fu Fine green silk shoes, Bright white cotton scarves, Deep in storage for the elders, Fetched to wear upon my body. Du Fu Penglai imperial palace faces the southern hill, A golden stem to catch the dew is high up in the sky.
A substantive precursor, nothing more. My life is one of bitterness and drift, What time will they finally reach their end? The Battle at Chentao 51. Still we're bothered by these earthly cares, Reflected in our lean and haggard faces. The poets of the subsequent Sung Dynasty, in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, are not nearly as celebrated. Constantly dancing butterflies stay to play, Unrestrained, the lovely orioles cry. Du Fu English Translations Du Fu English Translations Click on the title of each poem for the text in Chinese characters, pinyin, gloss, notes and references. Although there are strong women to grasp the hoe and the plough, They grow some crops, but there's no order in the fields.
The exception that proves this rule, in Classical Chinese Poetry, is Han Shan, whose name means Cold Mountain. My brothers are spread all throughout the land, No home to ask if they are living or dead. Du Fu In Prince Qi's mansion house, I met you often, By Cui Jiu's hall, I heard you several times. Climbing the Buddhist Pagoda 4042. On the western bank of the Yellow River lies my own Sichuan, I yearn to do my duty and provide for my home, without millet. Literature and worldly success are opposed, Demons exult in human failure.
Du Fu The cows and sheep are moving slowly down, Each villager has shut his wicker gate. Lost amid disorder, I hardly sleep, Wet through, how can I last the long nights! The arrangement of this volume is derived from Hinton's volume. I hear an ape; the third call really makes tears fall, Undertaking a mission, in vain I follow the eighth month raft. What emerges is a portrait of a modest yet great artist, an ordinary man moving and adjusting as he must in troubled times, while creating a startling, timeless body of work. Du Fu After long escort, from now on we part, Green mountains: in vain I repeat my emotion. At dawn, before I set upon the road, It's only from the old man that I part. The pinyin system, which became standard in the 1980s, can sometimes obscure their identities: it is clear enough that Du Fu is Tu Fu, but one would not necessarily recognize Li Bai as Li Po, or Bo Juyi as Po Chu-i.
Both the difficulty and the urgency are elegantly demonstrated in a short book by Eliot Weinberger called Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei. Each genre of Chinese poetry had rules about rhyme, line length, and parallelism so intricate as to make the English sonnet look like free verse. After ten cups, still I am not drunk, It's your lasting friendship which is moving. Music such as this should only go to heaven above, In this human world, how many times can it be heard? Song of the War Carts 2730. Advent Of Spring The city has fallen: only the hills and rivers remain.