Women Poets of China

By Kenneth Rexroth; Ling Chung | Go to book overview

Two poems to the tune
"The Narcissus by the River"

I

Lady T'ao Ch'ui-tse gave a farewell party in T'ao Jan
Pavilion. My woman friend Tzu-ying wrote couplets in
Great Cave calligraphy
:

Like a young colt running past a crack in a wall,
The light and darkness of almost a year have gone by.
Wind sweeps the clouds from the sky.
We each go our separate ways.

I share her sadness and write a poem in answer.
I am going to Japan to study
And Tse-ying returns to the South
.


II

We have drunk wine and discussed literature.
Our hearts have beat together
With the same emotions.
Softly we sing together the old song
"The Sunlight in the Pass."
The sorrow of parting will follow our horses' feet.
The melancholy of farewell
Surrounds the city like a river.
Iron strokes, silver curves, your couplets
Are limitless in their meanings.
Take care of yourself. We can have no confidence
That one day we will see each other again.
We stand on the bridge, hand in hand.
The river and the evening clouds stretch away for a
thousand miles.

CH'IU CHIN

-82-

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