Never Better Nothing More: A Response to Li Qingzhao’s “Remembering the Maid of Qin”

Dark dust of a billion stars
Lifting spiralling shifting
Settles into our being’s
Random DNA pairings
Love hunger but mostly fear
Ravelling unravelling
Evolution’s coiled ribbons
Lifting spiralling shifting
Black crows in the falling snow
Return at sunset noisy
With the day’s news in their beaks
Never better nothing more
The winter wind complicates
The urge of the snow to fall
Fifty years of memory
Lifting spiralling shifting
But always failing falling
Always settling into drifts
Of identical cold days
Sunset silences the crows
As—somewhere—a star explodes

AGG20150115

Tune: “Remembering the Maid of Qin”
The Wutong  Tree
by Li Qingzhao

Jumbled mountains, rolling plains:
The view from this high tower
Blurred in thin gleaming mist,
Thin gleaming mist.
Across the sunset sky
Flash crows coming home to roost;
At fall of dusk
Calls a distant bugle.

Fading incense, remnants of wine:
A heart full of remorse.
Parasol-leaves falling,
Parasol leaves falling.
Urged by the west wind.
Haunting me always,
Autumn’s somber colors.
Never leaves me alone,
The pain of loneliness.

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

忆秦娥·桐·李清照
临高阁,乱山平野烟光薄。烟光薄,栖鸦归后,暮天闻角。
断香残酒情怀恶,西风催衬梧桐落。梧桐落,又还秋色,又还寂寞。

Yì qín é ·tóng·Lǐ Qīngzhào
Lín gāogé, luàn shān píngyě yān guāng báo . Yān guāng báo, qī yā guī hòu , mù tiān wén jiǎo .
Duàn xiāng cán jiǔ qínghuái è , xīfēng cuī chèn wútóng luò . Wútóng luò, yòu hái qiūsè , yòu hái jìmò.

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