The Disappearance: A Response to “New Version Sand of Silk-Washing Brook” by Li Qingzhao

One day the layered
Layer upon layer
Billion upon billion
Golden-tentacled galaxies
Will have fled
So far so fast
The shifted light they share
Will become so distended so wide
That these waves will no longer fit
Within the known universe
And at this point in time
They will simply
Disappear
Dead? Perhaps
What way will there be to know?
Dead to us? Most definitely

And I have already seen this happen

That June evening you walked down
The long lane lined with lilacs
And I watched and watched
And watched until only the vulgar
Perfumed panicles remained
To trouble my purple dreams
Are you dead?
How am I to know?
Are you dead to me?
I wish
But each spring the purple blooms
Troubling my dreams
Of an empty lane beneath the fleeing stars
Return you to me

Silent and receding

AGG20141216

Depth Charge: Thanks to Lawrence M. Krauss for explaining how, in two trillion years, anything with eyes left to see, will be able to see only the stars in their own galaxy. Watch the entire lecture, or jump forward to about 59 minutes to hear a truncated explanation of the end of the universe.

Tune: “New Version Sand of Silk-Washing Brook”
To the Cassia Flower
by Li Qingzhao

Your petals-twisted into ten thousand flecks of soft gold;
Your leaves-layer upon layer of carved emerald jade.
Graceful in -bearing,
Noble and bright in spirit,
You are worthy to compare
With the ancient scholar Yan Fu. ①

Beside you how vulgar the plum,
For all its profusion of petals;
How coarse the lilac,
With its innumerable knotty branches.
But your all too heady perfume,
O you heartless flower!
Wakes my sorrowful dream
Of a thousand li away.

① The style name of Yue Guang of the Jin Dynasty (265-420), s scholar renowned for his erudition, wisdom and eloquence as well as his upright character as an official.

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

摊破浣溪沙 李清照
揉破黄金万点轻,剪成碧玉叶层层。风度精神如彦辅,大鲜明。
梅蕊重重何俗甚,丁香千结苦麄生。熏透愁人千里梦,却无情。

Tān pò huànxīshā Lǐqīngzhào
Róu pò huángjīn wàn diǎn qīng , jiǎn chéng bìyù yè céng céng . Fēngdù jīngshén rú yàn fǔ , dà xiānmíng . Méi ruǐ chóngchóng hé sú shén , dīngxiāng qiān jié kǔ cū shēng . Xūn tòu chóu rén qiānlǐ mèng , què wúqíng.

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