Untitled by Feng Xiao Qing (translation)

another translation from the Chinese by Mary Tang on her blog Life is But This

Life is But This 命

Feng Xiao Qing (1595 – 1692)  is a female poet, a legendary beauty and concubine in the Ming Dynasty.  It was said that little is left of her work because her husband’s jealous first wife burnt most of them.  The Peony Pavilion mentioned in her poem refers to the famous play written by Ming Dynasty playwright and poet Tang Xian Zu 唐顯祖.  Read one of his translated poems here.

Untitled by Feng Xiao Qing 

Silently the cold rain is hitting the darkened window

Languorously I lit a lamp to read the Peony Pavilion

Here is someone more possessed than I on this earth

How can it be that I have the only broken heart?

Mary Tang 鄧許文蘭 2017

無題。馮小青

冷雨幽窗不可聽,挑燈閑看牡丹亭。

人間亦有痴於我,豈獨傷心是小青?

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unpacking memories

Leonard Durso

opening boxes
separating items
these memories
of an eventful life
in my hands
soon to be placed
on shelves
while music plays
from decades ago
and though I thought
I was safe
from pain regret remorse
there is no escape
from memories
in one’s hands
outside of boxes
laid bare
like one’s heart
decades ago
decades ahead
the here and now

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listening to Billie Holiday

Leonard Durso

body and soul
that voice
brings back memories
of dark bars
Alvin swaying
John Woods’ eyes
closed to some thoughts
he could not escape
and Henry
and secrets
he cannot say
earlier we sat
with Julian pouring rye
into our steins
of draught beer
at the Blarney Stone
cornbeef and cabbage
upper west side
and that voice
haunting our dreams
where oh where
amid the ghosts
of days past
she is there
here
as night falls
and my glass
is filled
and refilled
death will come
to us all
but damn
her voice
keeps it at bay
and they can’t
take that
away
from me

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another translation from the Chinese by Mary Tang on her blog Life is But This

My friends are visiting Sydney and me: Pauline from Adelaide; Jan and Ross from Bellingen. I met Pauline when I was 12 and Jan at 18 so I can say that they are lifelong friends. It will be sad to say goodbye. Yesterday Pauline approved of my translation of Overnight on a River that I dedicated […]

via Song of the Three Islets by Chen Zi Long (translation) — Life is But This 命