Wednesday, December 19, 2007

971 Years Later, A Poet Is Relevant Still

Today is the birthday of the Chinese poet Su Tung-po, born in 1036 in what we know as the Sichuan province. One of his poems is a perfect observation of early winter, even here in Austin:

Pu suan tzu

A fragment moon hangs from the bare tung tree
The water clock runs out, all is still
Who sees the dim figure come and go alone
Misty, indistinct, the shadow of a lone wild goose?

Startled, she gets up, looks back
With longing no one sees
And will not settle on any of the cold branches
Along the chill and lonely beach