Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Once I went to sit at Cold Mountain" [shi in translation]

Once I went to sit at Cold Mountain
and lingering remained these 30 years

lately coming to call on friends & kin
more than half had vanished under ground

it gradually fades as does the dying candle
long a'flowing like the passing river

this morning   aface a lonely shadow
unwonted tears twainly dangle down


[Over the years, I've tweaked and polished this translation variously. Here's my latest version. Han Shan (Cold Mountain) is the name of the poet [cira 9th Century AD] as well as the mountain to which he retired for reclusion. His collection comprises around three hundred verses.]

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