Seeing My Poetry At Dingzhou


 
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Seeing My Poetry At Dingzhou
        Yuan Hongdao 1568-1610

In the pagoda...an ink rubbing of my verses!
Whoever engraved them here?
They fill the air, like the chirping of a worm;
cover the wall...calligraphy like insects!
Sooner or later, they will be eaten away by moss
or effaced by the wind and rain.
But for now, my poems have been cut in stone:
my seal-vermillion drips to the ground below.
 
Dìnɡzhōu Jiàn Zhuōshī Tà Xì Tí
Yuán Hóngdào 1568-1610

Tǎ shànɡ yān méi jù,
Hé rén lè cǐ zhōnɡ.
Mínɡ xū liáo sì yǐn,
Zhuàn bì ǒu rú chónɡ.
Shí qù yí tái xiǎn,
Xiāo lái zhànɡ yǔ fēnɡ.
ér jīn zhēn rù shí,
Ní tǔ bèi dān hónɡ.
 
Translator: Jonathan Chaves 齊皎瀚

Notes:
The rubbing would be made from the stone engraving. Paper would be placed over the stone, and ink pressed carefully against the paper. A seal might be applied, using vermillion ink.

From Jonathan Chaves's book Pilgrim of the Clouds, Yuan Hung-tao, John Weatherhill, Inc. 1978

 
 
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