from Dreaming of Li Po, Two Poems by Tu Fu: Poem 1

Parted by death, we swallow remorse;
Apart in life, we always suffer.
South of the river, miasmal place,
From the banished exile, not a word!
Old friend, you appeared in a dream,
It shows you have been long in my thoughts.
Perhaps it wasn’t your living soul:
The way’s too far, it couldn’t be done.
Your spirit came: and the maples were green:
Your spirit left: the mountain pass darkened.
Friend, now that you’re ensnared down there,
How did you manage to wing away?
Moonlight shines full on the rafters,
Yet I wonder if it isn’t your reflection.
The waters are deep, the waves expansive:
Don’t let the water-dragon get you!

translated by Eugene Eoyang

One thought on “from Dreaming of Li Po, Two Poems by Tu Fu: Poem 1

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