Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Two poems by Li Po

Jade-Staircase Grievance

Night long on the jade staircase, white
dew appears, soaks through gauze stockings.

She lets down crystalline blinds, gazes out
through jewel lacework at the autumn moon.

Thoughts Of You Unending

Thoughts of you unending
here in Ch'ang-an,

crickets where the well mirrors year-end golds cry out
autumn, and under a thin frost, mats look cold, ice-cold.

My lone lamp dark, thoughts thickening, I raise blinds
and gaze at the moon. It renders the deepest lament

empty. But you're lovely as a blossom born of cloud,

skies opening away all bottomless azure above, clear
water all billows and swelling waves below. Skies endless

for a spirit in sad flight, the road over hard passes
sheer distance, I'll never reach you, even in dreams,

my ruins of the heart,
thoughts of you unending.

Li Po
c. 742-755

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