This poem was written by Du Fu who is considered to be one of China’s greatest poets of the Tang dynasty.
Du Fu was born to a minor scholar-official in Henan Province. His mother died while he was young, and an aunt helped raised him.
Du Fu is often described as a poet-historian, and his works convey the emotional impact and import of political and social issues and register a range of private concerns, trials, and dramas. His poems are remarkable for their range of moods as well as contents.
Alan and I worked on the translation together on this piece. You may read more of Alan’s translation work on Chinese, Spanish poetry, own poetry and essays here.
After the battle, we mourn for the dead;
I’m old and alone, grief filling my head.
Dark, ominous clouds are filtering down;
The cold wind and snow are swirling around.
There is no wine left in the calabash bowl,
But the stove is still hot from the smoldering coal.
The news cannot reach us from our dearest kin;
I sit down to write, but I cannot begin.
This poem was written by Du Fu in 754. He was a Chinese poet and politician of the Tang dynasty.
Alan Steinle (Alan’s work) and I worked on the translation together.
The grass has decayed from all the rain we’ve seen,
But the cassia below the steps remains bright green.
Your feather-like leaves escaped the autumn showers;
Like golden coins are your many blooming flowers.
You can feel the bitter wind’s persistent attack;
Can your stalk endure the force, or will it crack?
Above the steps, I let down my graying hair;
I smell the fragrant cassia, but I feel despair.
Translation collaboration with Alan Steinle
Moonlit Night is the collaborated translation of a classic Chinese poem (月夜) written by Du Fu 杜甫 (712 – 770), a prominent Chinese poet of the Tang dynasty.
||The moon shines brightly on Fuzhou tonight;
||Alone in her room, she looks at the light;
||She pities her children, so far from their dad;
||She misses Chang’an—she’s lonely and sad;
||Her long supple hair with perfume is sprayed;
||The clear moon shines on cool arms of jade;
||When, near the curtain, will our hearts soar?
||We’ll sit in the moonlight, tears falling no more!