Old Man, Winter: A Response to Li Qingzhao’s “Pure Serene Music”

This year there’s seventeen feet of white snow
Before we even reach the cold, hard ground,
How are we going to bury you, old man?
At this rate, the purple lilacs will not
Dare to bloom until well into August,
Flowers for your late funeral, old man.
We’ll be talking about twenty-fifteen,
At least until something worse comes along,
Forgetfulness will bury you, old man,
But right now ploughs are losing the battle
To keep the Island’s arteries unclogged,
And people are beginning to panic,
To wonder if we don’t need a new plan,
If we hope to get you buried, old man.

AGG20150326

Depth Charge: At the time of writing this, Charlottetown, PEI, has an accumulated winter 2014-15 snowfall of 515 cm, about 17 feet, most of which has fallen since late-January.

Tune : “Pure Serene Music”
By Li Qingzhao

Year after year in the snow I used to get drunk
While picking plum blossoms to put in my hair.
Now twisting all the fallen petals to no good purpose,
I only drench my clothes with pure tears.

This year at the end of the earth,
My hair at the temples is streaked with grey.
Now that the evening wind is growing in force,
I shall be hard put to it to enjoy plum blossoms.

You might as well as the bright red flowers
Why they bloom and for whom they perfume the air?

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

清平乐李清照 
年年雪里,常插梅花醉。挼尽梅花无好意,赢得满衣清泪。 
今年海角天涯,萧萧两鬓生华。看取晚来风势,故应难看梅花 
 
Qīngpíng Yuè Lǐ Qīngzhào  
 
Nián nián xuě lǐ,  
Cháng chā méihuā zuì.  
Ruó jǐn méihuā wú hǎoyì ,  
Yíngdé mǎn yī qīng lèi.  
 
Jīnnián hǎi jiǎo tiānyá ,  
Xiāoxiāo liǎng bìn shēng huá . 
Kàn qǔ wǎn lái fēngshì,  
Gù yīng nánkàn méihuā .

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”

To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffin just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

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