Back in Baltimore for a little bit, I re-discovered Kenneth Rexroth’s book 100 Poems from the Chinese. Here’s a few spring-themed poems from it, with some music.
White birds over the grey river.
Scarlet flowers on the green hills.
I watch the Spring go by and wonder
If I shall ever return home.
— Tu Fu (translated by Kenneth Rexroth)
Band of Horses – The Funeral (Buy It)
GREEN JADE PLUM TREES IN SPRING
Spring comes early to the gardens
Of the South, with dancing flowers.
The gentle breeze carries the sound
Of horses whinnying. The blue
Green plums are already as large
As beans. The willow leaves are long,
And really are curved like a girl’s
Eyebrows. Butterflies whirl in the
Long sunlight. In the evening the
Mist lies heavily on the flowers.
The grass is covered with dew.
Girls in their transparent dresses,
Indolent and lascivious,
Lounge in their hammocks. Swallows, two
By two, nest under the painted eaves.
— Ou Yang Hsiu (translated by Kenneth Rexroth)
Calexico – Victor Jara’s Hands (Buy It)
TO A TRAVELER
Last year when I accompanied you
As far as the Yang Chou Gate,
The snow was flying, like white willow cotton.
This year, Spring has come again,
And the willow cotton is like snow.
But you have not come back.
Alone before the open window,
I raise my wine cup to the shining moon.
The wind, moist with evening dew,
Blows the guaze curtains.
Maybe Chang-O the moon goddess,
Will pity this single swallow
And join us together with the cord of light
That reaches beneath the painted eaves of your home.
— Su Tung P’o (translated by Kenneth Rexroth)
The Welcome Wagon – American Legion (Buy It)
posted by Adam