A Night-Mooring at Wu-chang by Lu Lun

Far off in the clouds stand the walls of Han-yang,
Another day’s journey for my lone sail . . .
Though a river merchant ought to sleep in this calm weather,
I listen to the tide at night and voices of the boatman.
. . . My thin hair grows wintry, like the triple Hsiang streams,
Three thousand miles my heart goes, homesick with the moon;
But the war has left me nothing of my heritage—
And oh, the pangs of hearing these drums along the river!

translated by Witter Bynner & Kiang Kang-hu

A Farewell to Li Tuan by Lu Lun

By the old gate, among yellow grasses;
Still we linger, sick at heart.
The way you must follow through cold clouds
Will lead you this evening into snow.
Your father died; you left home young;
Nobody knew of your misfortunes.
We cry, we say nothing. What can I wish you
In this blowing wintry world?

translated by Witter Bynner & Kiang Kang-hu

The Third Dimension by Denise Levertov

Who’d believe me if
I said, “They took and

split me open from
scalp to crotch, and

still I’m alive, and
walk around pleased with

the sun and all
the world’s bounty.” Honesty

isn’t so simple:
a simple honesty is

nothing but a lie.
Don’t the trees

hide the wind between
their leaves and

speak in whispers?
The third dimension

hides itself.
If the roadmen

crack stones, the
stones are stones;

but love
cracked me open

and I’m
alive

to tell the tale–but not
honestly:

the words
change it. Let it be–

here in the sweet sun
–a fiction, while I

breathe and
change pace.