Ten Years—Dead and Living Dim and Draw Apart by Su Tung-p’o

To the tune “Song of River City.” The year yi-mao, first month, twentieth day: recording a dream I had last night.

Ten years—dead and living dim and draw apart.
I don’t try to remember
but forgetting is hard.
Lonely grave a thousand miles off,
cold thoughts—where can I talk them out?
Even if we met you wouldn’t know me,
dust on my face,
hair like frost—

In a dream last night suddenly I was home.
By the window of the little room
you were combing your hair and making up.
You turned and looked, not speaking,
only lines of tears coursing down—
year after year will it break my heart?
The moonlit grave,
its stubby pines—

translated by Burton Watson

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