Dreams Of The Tang Dynasty #21

#21
There is no way, there is no balance,
All the world is chaos and injustice.
Tradition insists that women are darkness,
And men are lightness – but tradition is wrong.
She was my light- my burning flower,
Without her I reside in an eternal moonless night.
Losing the last remnant of any love in my heart,
I reach enlightenment, fading sorrowfully into the void.
AD868

龙火花 Long HuoHua

Born Approx AD820 – Died AD895
Timeline Of Major Events During Long’s Life:

AD840 – Earliest known poems by Long
841 – Yu XuanJi is Born
846 – Bai JuYi dies
848 – Emperor Wuzong persecutes Buddhists, Shuts down temples across empire.
858 – Major flood killing tens of thousands (including XinMei) and destabilizing dynasty
863 – Long Starts affair with Yu XuanJi
866 – Long gets sent on official duty to Chongqing
867 – Yu XuanJi is Executed
875 – Huang Chao’s Rebellion
881 – Huang Chao Captures Chang’An
883 – Capitol retaken, Huang Chao Rebellion Ends
883 – Tang Dynasty Starts Decline
895 – Long HuoHua Dies
AD907 – Tang Dynasty Falls

游崇真观南楼睹新及第题名处 Visiting the South Tower of Lofty-Truth Temple, I View the Newly Inscribed Names of Imperial Graduates – 鱼玄机 Yu Xuanji

游崇真观南楼,
睹新及第题名处

云峰满目放春晴,
历历银钩指下生。
自恨罗衣掩诗句,
举头空羡榜中名。

-鱼玄机

Visiting the South Tower of Lofty-Truth Temple,
I view the newly inscribed names of Imperial Graduates

Cloudy summits fill my eyes this fine spring day,
I catch every silver stroke beneath my fingertips.
How I hate this silk dress which conceals my poetry,
I raise my head in hopeless envy of the names that are listed.

– Yu XuanJi

Translation by Dean Marais

About Yu Xuanji:

Yu XuanJi wrote her first poem at 6 years old. When she was older, being exceptionally beautiful, she was sold as a concubine to an official who fell in love with her. However, his jealous wife forced him to throw her out. With no home or income she had to turn to prostitution in Chang’An. She met many of the poets of her day there, and ended up at a taoist temple where she continued to write poems. The story goes that she was falsely accused of murder, and though many of her poet friends pleaded for her life, she was executed in Chang’An at 26 years of age.

赋得江边柳 A Poem For The Willows By The River – 鱼玄机 Yu Xuanji

赋得江边柳

翠色连荒岸,
烟姿入远楼。
影铺秋水面,
花落钓人头。
根老藏鱼窟,
枝低系客舟。
萧萧风雨夜,
惊梦复添愁。

鱼玄机

A Poem For The Willows By The River

An emerald iridescence merges with the desolate river banks,
Cloudy mists dance their way into distant homes.
Autumn reflections scatter out upon the surface of the river,
Flowers drop down upon the heads of the fishermen.
Old roots conceal the fishes hidden dens,
As passenger boats moore themselves to hanging willow branches.
The night grieves with wind and rain,
And startling dreams only add to my restlessness.

-Yu Xuanji

Translation by Dean Marais

About Yu Xuanji:

Yu XuanJi wrote her first poem at 6 years old. When she was older, being exceptionally beautiful, she was sold as a concubine to an official who fell in love with her. However, his jealous wife forced him to throw her out. With no home or income she had to turn to prostitution in Chang’An. She met many of the poets of her day there, and ended up at a taoist temple where she continued to write poems. The story goes that she was falsely accused of murder, and though many of her poet friends pleaded for her life, she was executed in Chang’An at 26 years of age.

寄国香 To Guo Xiang – Yu XuanJi 鱼玄机

寄国香
旦夕醉吟身,
相思又此春。
雨中寄书使,
窗下断肠人。
山卷珠帘看,
愁随芳草新。
别来清宴上,
几度落梁尘?

To Guo Xiang

Sunset to sunrise I am drunk and singing,
Thinking of you, lovesick, with spring here once again.
There’s an envoy with letters in the rain,
And a broken hearted woman by the window.
Rolling up red beaded blinds, she looks at the mountains;
Her worries renewed like the fresh and fragrant grass.
Since we were separated at your last banquet,
How many times has the dust of your roof-beams fallen?

-Yu Xuanji

Translated by Dean Marais

About Yu Xuanji:
Yu XuanJi wrote her first poem at 6 years old. When she was older, being exceptionally beautiful, she was sold as a concubine to an official who fell in love with her. However, his jealous wife forced him to throw her out. With no home or income she had to turn to prostitution in Chang’An. She met many of the poets of her day there, and ended up at a taoist temple where she continued to write poems. The story goes that she was falsely accused of murder, and though many of her poet friends pleaded for her life, she was executed in Chang’An at 26 years of age.

Painting – Feelings At The End Of Spring – 鱼玄机

Poem by Yu XuanJi

暮春有感寄友人 Poem by Yu XuanJi 鱼玄机

Painting I did this week.
Translation by Leonard Ng:

Feelings At The End of Spring Sent To A Friend
暮春有感寄友人
The voices of orioles wake me from sad dreams;
light makeup hides the tear-stains on my face.
The bamboo grove is shadowy in the moon’s faint light;
the River lies silent beneath the night’s thick mist.
Swallows are wet-beaked from carrying mud;
bees are sweet-whiskered from gathering pollen.
I alone am pitiful, in my endless longing.
I’ll sing no more of pines with laden limbs.
– Yu XuanJi 鱼玄机

from: Multitudinous Stars and Spring Waters

III
These fragmented verses
Are only drops of spray
On the sea of knowledge.
Yet they are bright shining
Multitudinous stars, inlaid
On the skies of the heart.

-Ping Hsin (1900’s)
Translated by Kenneth Rexroth

Beautiful Barbarian Love Song

To The Tune: Beautiful Barbarian

The peonies are heavy with dew.
She pauses in the court to pick a flower,

Then coyly asks her lover,
“Which do you think most pretty?”

Because he likes to tease,
he says, “I think perhaps the flower.”

She pretends offense in any case,
crushes it, and throws it in his face.

-Unknown (Song Dynasty A.D. 960-1200)

Love Song

Clouds circle the moon,
breezes ringing wind chimes,
deepening my doubt.

I lit the lamp to write
my broken heart for you.
My sobbing blew it out.

-Ma Chih-yuan (1260-1324)