Home Thoughts by Li Shang-yin

Though there is a tower with railings to lean on,
How can I do without wine to pour?
Dank clouds hang over the mountain range in spring;
The river moon shines clear and bright at night.
The fish are disturbed–to whom can letters be entrusted?
The apes cry sadly–my dreams are easily startled.
My old home adjoined the Imperial Park:
It was the time when the oriole moved to the tall tree.

translated by James J.Y. Liu

untitled poem 4 by Fernando Pessoa

Whether I’m happy or sad?. . .
Frankly I don’t know.
What does it mean to be sad?
What is happiness good for?

I’m neither happy nor sad.
I don’t really know what I am.
I’m just one more soul that exists
And feels what God has ordained.

So then, am I happy or sad?
Thinking never ends well. . .
For me sadness means
Hardly knowing myself. . .

But that’s what happiness is. . .

translated by Richard Zenith

Spring Rain by Sowol Kim

Caught in a sudden shower, spring sobs,
while flowers fall everywhere–
even in my heart.
Watch, as the clouds drift high over the budding branches
until dusk descends with nightfall.
The sweet, sad rain falls endlessly
as do my tears on the carpet of flowers.

translated by Jaihiun Kim & Ronald B. Hatch