Cassia Flowers by Li Ch’ing-chao

The twisted limbs break
Into ten thousand flecks of gold,
On layer upon layer of carved jade leaves,
Fresh and bright as the grace of Yen Fu.
The heaps of plum petals seem vulgar.
The lilacs seem coarse and contorted.
Your perfume has broken into
My sorrowful dream of the one
A thousand miles away,
And left me drained of emotion.

translated by Kenneth Rexroth & Ling Chung

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