Each falling petal leaves spring farther behind.
Each brings a tear to my eyes.
When the last disappears from my view,
no measure of wine brings clear skies.
Kingfishers frequent the hall on the river.
Unicorns lie, resting before the royal sarcophagi.
Joy is the truth when studying nature,
with no reason to bring sorrow’s sigh.
This poem is my response to Poetics: China – Kingdom of the Poem, the prompt from Laura Bloomsbury at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which asks us to re-interpret one of five given ancient Chinese poems. She gives the option to do so in our own style or the Lüshi style. I have chosen the latter, which differs from the style I have used in the many Chinese Interpretations I have done in the past, where I’ve rephrased the raw literal translation given at Chinese Poems in a way that varies only slightly from the “finished” version offered there. Here, I have used the Lüshi style style for Winding River, by Tu Fu. In fact, I re-interpreted this poemWinding River No 1 in that other manner for National Poetry Writing Month in 2017. I look forward to reading the other responses to this prompt.
The Chinese Lüshi style:
• eight lines long of couplets – The first couplet should set-up the poem;
the middle two couplets develop the theme, the final couplet is conclusion
• each line must have the same number of words, either 5, 6, or 7.
• a mono-rhyme is on every even numbered line
• Caesura (a pause) should separate clauses.
Winding River (Tu Fu)
Each piece of flying blossom leaves spring the less,
I grieve as myriad points float in the wind.
I watch the last ones move before my eyes,
And cannot have enough wine pass my lips.
Kingfishers nest by the little hall on the river,
Unicorns lie at the high tomb’s enclosure.
Having studied the world, one must seek joy,
For what use is the trap of passing honour?
Image source: Cedar Gallery
Kingfisher, by Tsukioka Kōgyo