Winding River No. 2 (visiting Tu Fu)


Winding River #2 (visiting Tu Fu)

Every day I return from court with spring clothing to pawn
And every day I return from the river area drunk as can be
Many are the places that hold my wine debt
It’s a rare thing to live to seventy
I see painted lady butterflies go deep within the flowers
And I see water drops fall from dragonflies in their leisurely flight
They say that time is fleeting
Brief is our time together, though brief it should not be

Literal translations of classic Chinese poetry can be found at This is my interpretation of a poem by Tu Fu. The literal translation, as provided at, is as follows:

Winding River (2)

Court return every day pawn spring clothes
Every day river area utmost drunk return
Wine debt common go place have
Life seventy always rare
Through flowers vanessa butterfly deep deep see
Drop water dragonfly leisurely fly
Pass on speech time all be on move
Brief time mutual recognise not mutual separate

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

18 thoughts on “Winding River No. 2 (visiting Tu Fu)

  1. It is quite coincidental but today (and I am 73) I was mowing the lawn and I stopped and sat and looked at an orange dragonfly. They are quite easy to see. My daugter is 20 and she told me she hasn’t seen one except the one I point out to her.

    Liked by 2 people

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