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To Tu Fu from Shantung -- Li Po

(Poem #683) To Tu Fu from Shantung
 You ask how I spend my time--
 I nestle against a treetrunk
 and listen to autumn winds
 in the pines all night and day.

 Shantung wine can't get me drunk.
 The local poets bore me.
 My thoughts remain with you,
 like the Wen River, endlessly flowing.
-- Li Po
tr. Hamil.

A wonderfully poignant poem about the pain of separation from one's beloved;
it's amazing how the poet manages to capture the essence of the emotion in
words as simple as they are heartbreaking. Further commentary would be
superfluous, so...


[Minstrels Links]

"About Tu Fu" is a gem of a poem about, well, Tu Fu (who'd have thunk it?):
poem #504

The above link has biographies of both Li Po and his 8th century
contemporary (and fellow poet) Tu Fu. It's also the starting point for one
of the nicer journeys I've taken, a poetic exploration of the Silk Road.

"The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter" is Ezra Pound's (rather liberal)
translation of another Li Po masterpiece; it, too, deals with themes of love
and distance and devotion: poem #70

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