Sighs of Autumn Rain No. 2 (visiting Tu Fu)

Sigh of Autumn Rain No 2

Sighs of Autumn Rain No. 2 (visiting Tu Fu)

The swirling wind driving the rain seems never ending.
The four seas and eight wastes are one, beneath a great cloud.
An ox passes me. Or, is it a horse. Who can tell?
How can the Jing River be told from the Wei, muddy from clear?
The millet may grow, but the grain’s ear has turned black.
A farmer and his wife can expect no hopeful news for their fields.
In the city, a basket of rice is worth a silk quilt.
Both buyer and seller think theirs is the better deal.

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:

Sighs of Autumn Rain (2)

Continuous wind long rain autumn numerous and confused
Four seas eight wastes together one cloud
Go horse come ox no longer distinguish
Muddy Jing clear Wei how now distinguish
Grain head grow ear millet ear black
Farmer field wife without news
City in ten litres rice exchange quilt silk
Agree better consider both mutual worth

Image source: – Bamboo Groves in Mist and Rain – Guan Daosheng (1308)
More Chinese interpretations can be found here.

14 thoughts on “Sighs of Autumn Rain No. 2 (visiting Tu Fu)

    • has the literal translation I’ve shown at the bottom. Beside that there is a translation with corrected grammar that sometimes can be rather dry. So yes, I put my own spin on it. (Nope, don’t read Chinese!).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cool. I like it, but one year NaPoWriMo did translation poems and asked us to phonetically translate a poem one day. So I was curious which direction you took. I agree literal translations can be dry especially for poetry.

        Liked by 1 person

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