Thinking About My Brother by Du Fu

I heard you were in a monastery
somewhere in the hills

maybe in Hangzhou
maybe in Yuchzhou

all this time apart
all this war and chaos

through this entire autumn
I’ve thought and thought about you

my body may be among the noisy gibbons
here in Kuizhou woods

but my spirit floats out to a tower
that hovers above the Eastern Sea

next year in spring I’ll sail
down this swollen river

east as far as the clouds themselves
in search of you.

translated by David Young

No Word by Tu Fu

Haven’t seen my friend Li Po for some time:
It’s really too bad, his feigning madness.
The whole world would want him executed,
Save I,who cherrish his abilities.

A thousand fine and spirited poems he’s written,
With a cup of wine, and wandering in solitude.
Here I am in K’uang Shan, where he used to study:
He’d do worse than come back—now that his hair’s turned white.

translated by Eugene Eoyang

from Seven Songs Written While Living at T’ung-ku in 759 : 7 by Tu Fu

I am a man who’s made no name, already I’ve grown old,
Wandering hungry three years on barren mountain roads,
In Ch’ang-an the ministers are all young men;
Wealth and fame must be earned before a man grows old.
In the mountains here are scholars who knew me long ago.
We only think of the good old days, our hearts full of pain.

Alas! This is my seventh song, oh! with sorrow I end the refrain,
Looking up to the wide sky where the white sun rushes on.

translated by Geoffrey Waters

from dreaming of Li Po, Two Poems: from 1 by Tu Fu

Old friend, you appeared in a dream,
It shows you have long been in my thoughts.
Perhaps it wasn’t your living soul:
The way’s too far, it couldn’t be done.
Your spirit came: and the maples were green:
Your spirit left: the mountain pass darkened.
Friend, now that you’re ensnared down there,
How did you manage to wing away?
Moonlight shines full on the rafters,
Yet I wonder if it isn’t your reflection.
The waters are deep, the waves expansive:
Don’t let the water dragon get you!

translated by Eugene Eoyang