Fallen Flowers by Li Shang-yin

The guests have all left
their high pavilion

and in the little garden
a whirling storm of petals

they lie in random heaps
across the twisting path

and stretch into the distance
to catch the setting sun

it breaks my heart
to sweep them up

instead I stand and stare
till they mostly blow away

these fragrant-hearted beings
going the way of the spring

they die and earn their tribute–
the tears that spot my clothes.

translated by David Young

6 thoughts on “Fallen Flowers by Li Shang-yin

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