Friday, April 8, 2011

"You glow like a perfumed lamp"

You glow like a perfumed lamp
In the gathering shadows.
We play wine games
And recite each other's poems.
Then you sing `Remembering South of the River'
With its heart breaking verses. Then
We paint each other's beautiful eyebrows.
I want to possess you completely -
Your jade body
And your promised heart.
It is Spring.
Vast mists cover the Five Lakes.
My dear, let me buy a red painted boat
And carry you away.

From "For the Courtesan Ch'ing Lin" by Wu Tsao, trans. by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung. Read the rest of the poem here. You will find a brief commentary on the poem here.

Zwei M├Ądchen mit Tulpe, Dorothea Maetzel-Johannsen, 1921

1 comment:

Perfumeshrine said...

This is so beautiful...Thanks for bringing it here. Far Eastern poetry has a completely different sensibility which is touching in its (mock) simplicity.