Lone Goose


 
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Kuimen, Kui Gate viewed from Baidicheng

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Lone Goose
        Dù Fǔ 712-770 

Lone goose, you will not drink or peck:
Flying calling, each note misses the flock.
Who will pity a single fleck of shadow?
Lost from you  by myriad fold clouds.
Gaze your utmost, seeming yet to glimpse . . .
Griefs multiply -- as if still in earshot.
Crows in the wilds, not a stitch of sense,
Cawing, clamoring--their own crass crowds.
 
Gū Yàn
Dù Fǔ 712-770

Gūyàn bù yǐn zhuó,
Fēi mínɡ shēnɡ niàn qún.
Shuí lián yípiàn yǐnɡ,
Xiānɡ shī wànzhònɡ yún.
Wànɡ jìn sì yóu jiàn,
Ai duō rú ɡènɡ wén.
Yěyā wú yì xù,
Mínɡ zào zì fēn fēn.
 
Translator: David McCraw 譯者

Notes:
Imagine sitting in 夔州 Kuizhou for four years looking out every day at Kui Gate, named after a mythical monster like a dragon with one foot. Kui Gate, Dreadnoch Pass, the barrier to civilization beyond. This point is the beginning of the fabulous Sanxia, Three Gorges. But there were no tourist steamers in Du Fu's day. To go down river was a perilous and tiring trip, and Du Fu was old, ill and without funds to support himself. The laments of Du Fu written at Kuimen are not just self pitying verses. They are dirges to the end of the extraoudinary blossoming of High Tang civilization and culture.

 
 
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