Addendum: Jan. 22, 2011. Since no longer being able to add more poems after the fire of Dec. 21., I have been "visiting" poems whose physical copies burned. I feel that I have done Tang Wan a disservice with my original remarks. I see her sorrow now as so deep, so profound that it's past the stage of torrents of tears and words. She is now at a place where what remains is the bleakness of the loss and a vocabulary of images as stark and limited as her life. I remember reading somewhere that the purest truths are said in the shortest sentences and with the simplest of words. (No, not Hemingway.) Read with that in mind, I can feel her devastation in my marrow. Contrast it with his, forty years after that chance encounter... and leave me a comment.)
Reply to “Phoenix Hairpin” (to the tune of) - Tang Wan
Human relationships are short.
Human intentions are evil.
When rain accompanies evening, flowers fall easily,
but morning wind is dry.
I want to write you my feelings
but I only whisper to myself, leaning against banister.
Hard! Hard! Hard!
We are separate.
Today is not yesterday.
My sick soul moves like a swing between us.
A cold blast from a horn.
The night is late.
Afraid of questions,
I swallow my tears and smile.
Hide! Hide! Hide!
Tang Wan - dates unknown, Song Dynasty ,