Aboard a Boat, Reading Yüan Chen’s Poems by Po Chü-i

I pick up your scroll of poems, read in front of the lamp;
the poems are ended, the lamp gutters, the sky not yet light.
My eyes hurt, I put out the lamp, go on sitting in the dark;
a sound of waves blown up by head winds, sloshing against the boat.

translated by Burton Watson

6 thoughts on “Aboard a Boat, Reading Yüan Chen’s Poems by Po Chü-i

  1. I like it, but the lamp gutters seems wrong. I have liked his translations you’ve posted but gutters… even knowing nothing about the original, that can’t be right. Maybe you have a reader who would know and comment here. That would be lucky.

    • I actually posted at least one maybe two other translations of this same poem. Search the poet and you’ll find it/them. I used to have another translation of this poem posted on my wall in my den but that was back in NY and I’ve not had the luxury of as many cork boards since. But since I’ve been reading Burton Watson’s translations lately, I included this one. I think the other translation is by David Hinton and he uses flickering instead.

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