River Flute by Po Chu-i

Downriver, someone plays
a bamboo flute at midnight.

Note by note, I’m transported
back into my youth at home.

Listening, I feel my thin hair
quickly turning white:

still growing old, still
sleepless, still alone.

translated by Sam Hamill

Empty House by Yuan Chen

I leave my empty house at dawn
and ride to my empty office.

I fill the day with busywork.
At nightfall, back to my empty house.

Moonlght seeps through the cracks.
My wick has burned to ash.

My heart lies cold inHsien-yang Road,
under the wheels of a hearse.

translated by Sam Hamill