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The Journey to the West

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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Spring Scene (by Du Fu)

This Du Fu poem (written in the mid 8th century) captures the mood of the moment for me -- the return of spring in a world that has not yet emerged from a period of disruption and ruin.  Why write poetry at a time of seeming social collapse?  Is it a sympathetic fallacy to suppose that a millennium or so hence someone may understand that much better how they are feeling?  

Spring Scene

The country lies broken though
Mountains and rivers remain
As spring returns to the city
Grasses and trees regain
The depth of green

But in the mood 
Of these days
Dew sprinkles the flowers
Like tears on the cheek
And the heart knows only regret
Watching the sparrow take flight

For three months 
The beacon fires have flared
Making a letter from home
More precious than gold

And my white hair grown
Thin from constant scratching
Won't even hold a pin


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