Rain on the River
We cross the river over dark waves
Through dense fog and tie up the little boat
Under the bank to a willow.
I wake up heavy with wine in the middle of the night.
The lamp is only a
Smoky red coal. I lie listening to the
Hsiao hsiao of the rain on the bamboo roof
Of the cabin.
(Sung poet, 960-1279)
Translated by Kenneth Rexroth
The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry
Edited by Eliot Weinberger
On the Summit Above Tranquil-Joy Temple
Who says poets are so enthralled with mountains? Mountains,
mountains, mountains – I’ve raved on and on, and they’re still
clamouring for attention. A thousand peaks, ten thousand ridges:
it’s too much for me. If I climb an hour, I need to rest for three.
When your desk is piled full, you just can’t add anything more,
and when your withered stomach is full, who can keep eating?
So what good’s even a faint scrap of mist or kingfisher-green?
I’ll wrap it all up, send the whole bundle off to my city friends.