One never knows what images one is going to hold in memory, returning to the city after a brief orgy in the country. I find this morning that what I most vividly and longingly recall is the sight of my grandson and his little sunburnt sister returning to their kitchen door from an excursion, with trophies of the meadow clutched in their tiny hands–she with a couple of violets, and smiling, he serious and holding dandelions, strangling them in a responsible grip. Children hold spring so tightly in their brown fists–just as grownups, who are less sure of it, hold it in their hearts.
Where is the first sign of spring?
Spring comes earliest to a small pavilion:
Upon the shadow of a bamboo blind in the moonlight,
In the tender notes from a flute in the breeze,
In the greening of a branch breaking out at the tip,
In the drippings of a candle of red passion.
In the whispered words overheard past midnight,
In the scented breath wafted beyond the wall.
translated by Irving Lo
the drums the horn
in the park
the older foreigner
welcomed in their midst
basks in sun
the breeze gentle
on his face
and watches youth
dance and dance
no words can describe
the emotions of spring
translated by David Young
almost falling asleep
on a metal chair
the breeze so refreshing
in General Worth Square
the Grid Iron Building
half in light
so many accents
walking by posing
for those selfies
on this perfect afternoon
in this city
The clouds are thin the wind is light the sun is nearly overhead
past the flowers through the willows down along the stream
people don’t see the joy in my heart
they think I’m wasting time or acting like a child
translated by Red Pine
Spring, napped, unconscious of the dawn.
Night sounded, wind, and rain.
How many petals, now, are fallen?
translated by J.P. Seaton
I follow the moon into the mountains,
I search for clouds to accompany me home.
A spring morning, dew on the flowers:
and the fragrance clings to my gown.
translated by Jan W. Walls
Astride a mount pawing misty sedge grass,
How can one be resentful of the vernal spring
Where butterfly wings dust the flowers at dawn
And the backs of crows glisten everywhere in the setting sun;
Where lush willows compete with the fragrant sash,
And melancholy hills tighten kingfisher eyebrows.
The feeling of separation, what is there to say
But that the heart is an endless river of stars.
translated by William R. Schultz
The trees are brilliant with flowers
And the hills are green.
The sun is about to set.
Over the immense plain
A green carpet of grass
Stetches to infinity.
The passersby do not care
That Spring is about to end.
Carelessly they come and go
Before the pavilion,
Trampling the fallen flowers.
translated by Kenneth Rexroth