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Chinese Poem


dedalus
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BirdBackground2.jpg

 

As a young man listening to the girls

in a tower, I heard the sound of the rain,

while the red candle burnt dim in the damp air.

In middle age, travelling by boat on a river,

I listened to the rain falling, falling:

the river was wide and clouds drifted above.

I heard the solitary cry of a teal borne on the west wind.

And now in a cloister cell I hear the rain again.

My hair is grey and sparse: sadness and happiness,

separation and reunion, all seem one, they move

me no more. Let the rain come falling, falling

on deserted pavements until the day dawns.

-- Jung Jeh, 10th century

Edited by dedalus

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Brendan, this is absolutely lovely. Did you write this? If so, I'll leave it here. If you translated it, it belongs in World Poetry. If it's a translation by someone else, it goes to A Poem I Read Today.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Hi Tony,

 

This is a translation, so NOT an original poem, but the form of the translation is a bit of a hard call. I didn't have a text to work from but heard this on the radio in an English translation and immediately went to the Internet to try to find it. There was no title and the poet's name was given as Jung Jeh (phonetic) which could just as easily be Chung or Chiang Che/ tsu/ tseh, apparently writing in the 10th century, so probably late T'ang period. I typed in lines from the poem as I recalled them and variations on the poet's name but couldn't find any references. What I've written here is entirely from memory but I think it's pretty accurate. Your decision! :wacko:

 

Brendan

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Frank E Gibbard

Interesting to read the genesis and derivations of this. I liked it plenty in any case which is not great critting. But what's not to like Bren from the picture to the wording and the original philosophy on ageing and diminishing desire/satisfactions in life? Frank

Edited by Frank E Gibbard
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Sorry to be difficult and a pain in the backside, chaps, but I go after a good poem like a stoat at a rabbit, like metal filings at a magnet. There are so FEW good poems in the world, come to think of it, and of course we are DEFINITELY trying to create a few more. Yes, of course. That's what we do.

 

Derivative? Good. I can live with that. That's what the poem is, a floating orphan. Wherever it came from, it's kinda good. That's the main thing. You latch on to these things and you don't let them go. You sort of hang on to them with your teeth and depend on photographic memory. There's only about 25 perfect poems in the world. We're all working hard (even if unconsciously) on number 26 ....

Edited by dedalus

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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