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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spring Comes Alive (by Bai Juyi)

This is a Tang poem about spring written by Bai Juyi that I translated this morning.  It shows the sympathetic fallacy at work in reverse, with the poet drawn into a springtime reverie through which he experiences his own renewal.  It just goes to prove we are transparent to nature, forward and back - and we have been that way for a very long time.

Spring comes alive in the darkness
That everywhere abounds

To the far ends of the earth
Everything revives from its rest

First a gentle breeze
Imparts the news

Encouraging the birds to share
Their innermost thoughts

The grasses open and expatiate  
Color stretches along the riverbank

Flowers adorn the houses
And small flowering shrubs

It’s as if I had been transported
Back to my childhood home

As if my story too had returned
To its humble start in Jiang Zhou

Photo by M. Bridge





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