Passing Our Old Place in Chaokuo Quarter by Wei Ying-wu

Passing our old home
I don’t see anyone I know
things have changed and the air feels warm
my heart suffers from the loneliness of the season
this pond is choked with wild bamboo
the courtyard is overgrown with unfamiliar plants
the wind scatters fading flowers
birds return to darkening hills
in the past we enjoyed this together
how strange to be recalling those times
her room in the eastern wing is closed
I can’t bear to look at the things she left
her calligraphy brush and writing kit
her perfumed scarf still damp
tools she left in her chest
pieces of silk she cut with her knife
I collected these things to bring back
but bringing them back would just cause more grief
parted forever from the joys we shared
why keep the traces she left behind
words can’t express something so dark
and to that distant place I can’t go
but the past and the present I think are one
and time soothes heartache and sorrow

translated by Red Pine

3 thoughts on “Passing Our Old Place in Chaokuo Quarter by Wei Ying-wu

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