Wednesday, January 2, 2019


Night Rain, Sent North

You ask when I'll be back but there is no when.

In the hills night rains are flooding autumn pools.

When will we sit and trim the wicks in the west window

and talk about the hills and night and rain?

Frost and Moon

I can hear the migrating geese. There are no cicadas here,

a hundred feet up in the tower from where the water meets the sky.

The Bluegreen Lady and the Pale Fairy don't mind the cold:

that's just the moon and frost bickering over who's prettier.

Parting Thoughts

The dance before the brook. I'm out of breath.

My heart is sore at Midnight's songs.

I've never found Canyon Cloud.

What do you want from ditchwater?

The geese have stopped delivering messages.

The bamboo grove by the Xiang is stained with tears.

I will never see the color of your face

unless I rely on these ripples.


Li Shangyin

edited and translated by Chloe Garcia Roberts,
Lucas Klein and AC Graham

(New York Review of Books, 2018)