Burial Songs: 2 by T’ao Ch’ıen

I never had wine to drink, and now
my empty cup’s all depths of spring

wine crowned with ant-fluff foam,
but how will I ever taste it again?

Delicacies crowd altars before me,
and at my side, those I love grieve.

I try to look–it’s eyes of darkness.
I try to speak–a mouth of silence.

I once slept beneath high ceilings,
but a waste village of weeds is next:

leaving my gate behind, I’ll set out
and never again find my way back.

translated by David Hinton

This poem is for Natıg Damırov whose brother Orhan died in a car crash 10 days ago in Azerbaijan.

4 thoughts on “Burial Songs: 2 by T’ao Ch’ıen

  1. Ahh T’ao Yuan-Ming. Infuses such deep tranquility, such speechless understanding! How many times have read and reread his poems! Thanks for sharing.

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