Featured Post

The Journey to the West

Though we journey to the West We pray to the East More or less that's the way Each day begins and ends It’s a tale everyone ...

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Song of a Mad Man (by Du Fu)

I've just published a new issue of the Tang Spirit newsletter that explores the deep and abiding importance of reading the poetry of Du Fu in the Age of Trump.  Click here to sign up for your free copy of the newsletter if you're not already a subscriber.

And here's my translation of one of Du Fu's wonderful poems, called the Song of a Mad Man.  This poem was written in the midst of the An Lushan Rebellion, a time when the political situation was still in turmoil, forcing Du Fu and his family to travel into the southwestern hinterlands of the empire, in pursuit of safe haven from hardship and unrest. 

Over the west bridge
A thousand miles distant
There’s a small grass hut
Where a hundred flowers bloom
Alongside deep green waters
Just like Tsang Lang in fact

The wind stirs within
The bamboo grove giving it
A graceful green shudder
The red lotus flowers are laden
With raindrops which
Makes their fragrance
Disperse slowly

Old friends still immersed
In their worldly fortunes
Have fallen far out of touch
While living here amidst hunger
The young children always look
Wan and doleful

I’m full of longing
Like a deep ravine that
Remains wild and untrammeled
I laugh at myself
Such a mad old man
Growing madder still







Please click here to sign up for the Tang Spirit Newsletter is you'd like to learn more about the Song of a Mad Man and Du Fu's incredible poetry.


No comments:

Post a Comment