Bai JuYi Poetry
[Po Chu-i]


In English Translation


An early cricket chirps,
then pauses;
the dying lamp gutters
then flares again.

Outside my window
I know it is raining--
the leaves of the banana
first know its drumming.

      Translated by
      David Lunde


Rain at Night
North of Solitary Mountain Temple
and west of Chia Pavilion
the water's surface is flattened
by the wet feet of clouds.

Early warblers dart and flutter,
squabbling amid warm trees;
around someone's house new swallows
peck mud for their nests.
Wildflowers will soon flourish
enough to overwhelm one's eyes,
but now the shallow grass
barely submerges a horse's hooves.

I love the east lake most--
I don't come this way often enough;
in the shade of green willows
lies White Sand Embankment.

      Translated by
      David Lunde


Spring Visit to Chien-Tang Lake
Remnants of sun ribbon the river--
half and half, black river red.
Third night, ninth month lovely hour;
pearled dew, bent bow moon.

      Translated by
      Matthew Flannery


Song of the Evening River
With their arrogant manner, they fill up the road; The horses they ride glisten in the dust. "May I inquire, who might that be?" People say that's a palace eunuch. Those with red sashes are all high ministers; The purple tassels might signify generals. Haughtily they go to dine with the troops, Their prancing horses passing like clouds. Goblets and tankards will overflow with every wine; Water and land have yielded every delicacy. Fresh-picked fruits, and Tung-t'ing oranges; T'ien-ch'ih fish, all scaled and sliced. After gorging themselves, their minds will be at ease; Drunk on wine, their spirits will soar. This year drought devastated the South, And in Ch'u-chou people cannibalized each other.

*China's Imperial Past: An Introduction to Chinese History and Culture
by Charles O. Hucker.

The Frivolous Rich
11
[11]
15
[15]

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