Wednesday, July 19, 2006

For the Courtesan Ch'ing Lin

by Wu Tsao

(Post by Kate)

I came across this on the web. I read it to Janie, and she just melted.

For the Courtesan Ch'ing Lin

On your slender body
Your jade and coral girdle ornaments chime
Like those of a celestial companion
Come from the Green Jade City of Heaven.
One smile from you when we meet,
And I become speechless and forget every word.
For too long you have gathered flowers,
And leaned against the bamboos,
Your green sleeves growing cold,
In your deserted valley:
I can visualize you all alone,
A girl harboring her cryptic thoughts.

You glow like a perfumed lamp
In the gathering shadows.
We play wine games
And recite each other's poems.
Then you sing `Remembering South of the River'
With its heart breaking verses. Then
We paint each other's beautiful eyebrows.
I want to possess you completely -
Your jade body
And your promised heart.
It is Spring.
Vast mists cover the Five Lakes.
My dear, let me buy a red painted boat
And carry you away.

-Translated by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung

You can find it Here along with a ton of other wonderful verse. Janie will add the site to the Lit links in the sidebar once our interweb connection is fixed.


3 Eloquent Orations:

On 7/24/2006 01:28:00 AM, Blogger blipey waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Truly a lovely verse. I've always liked the eastern poets' sense of placing the idea always one sentence further away. Somehow it combines the rational with the artistic in a way that nothing else quite matches. It forces you to engage and question the poem as you read.

This one, particularly, is refreshing. The speaker manages to include herself in a poem about another without making it sappy, self-serving, or trite.

A trait I wish my writing had inherited.


On 7/24/2006 01:34:00 AM, Blogger blipey waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Others too, in far-flung villages,
Will no doubt be gazing at this moon
That never asks which watcher claims the night...
Loud on the unseen mountain wind,
A stag's cry quivers in the heart,
And somwhere a twig lets one leaf fall.

-Lian Hearn, from Brilliance of the Moon

You always move me with your verse


On 7/24/2006 02:24:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...


I've never really thought about the sense of placing the idea always one sentence further away. That's really well put.

I'm not an expert on eastern poets in general, but it certainly seems to be the case here, without a doubt.

I really love this one, and I'm so glad that Kate came across it. When she read it to me, I really did just melt.



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