Ghost Gate Pass

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View from south of Ghost Gate Pass

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Ghost Gate Pass
        Zhou Can

I have heard 
        that this cliff pass 
                is called Ghost Gate Pass,
And that its chilling winds 
        and gloomy skies 
                darken the sun's rays.
Yet ever since the Celestial Calmer 
        passed by here,
The gentle warmth 
        of Sagely benevolence 
                has covered the land.
Zhou Can

Wén shuō yán guān hào Guǐmén,
Yīnfēng cǎndàn rí huánghūn.
Yī cóng tiān fú jīng lín hòu,
Biàndì yánghé dài shèngēn.
Translator: Liam Kelley 翻譯者

"Zhou Can was surprised to find that Ghost Gate Pass was not as fearsome and ghoulish as he had anticipated. He then attributed this disparity between what he had previously heard and what he now witnessed to the workings of a benevolent transformation. In particular, the fact that the climate and landscape around Ghost Gate Pass did not seem threatening to Zhou Can was a clear indication to him that this site, once a symbol of the uncultivated barbarity that lay beyond the Central Kingdom, had now come under the benevolent influence of the moral virtue that emanated from the Central Efflorescence." Liam Kelley

For furthur dicussion of this poem read Liam Kelley's Beyond The Bronze
Pillars, Envoy Poetry and the Sino-Vietnamese Relationship, U of Hawaii Press.

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