Parting by Gu Cheng

Leonard Durso

In spring,
You delicately waved your handkerchief.
Were you telling me to go far away?
Or to come back at once?

No, it doesn’t mean anything
And doesn’t amount to anything.
It’s like a flower fallen into the river,
Like a pearl of dew resting on the flower.

Only the shadows comprehend,
Only the wind perceives,
Only the richly colored butterfly startled by a sigh
Keeps flying back over the heart of the flower. . .

translated by Fang Dai, Dennis Ding, & Edward Morin

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