Two Cedars piercing the Sky
For fun, a colleague and I translated a poem Master Tam wrote in 1976 (published in Mingpao Monthly in April 1976), in memory of Emily Dickinson for the 90th anniversary of her passing. The left column is his original poem, the right column is our experiment. Enjoy.
|Two Cedars piercing the Sky
Like candles, a faint light
At the end of the hallway—
Night falls on
|Morning dew on Saha’s tresses
White silk sweeps winding halls
Cutting through early chaos
Bitter first rays
|It is not of the oriole who sings
The tune in the tree.
You say the moon
Follows soft not the sun’s 20,000 footprints.
No reason for epitaph or
To flee from shoe flaps
And heart beats that once stroked
The fields, and roughing
The south winds of May was
The hand that climbed the rainbow.
|Say a banished immortal briefly lighted here
And like wind it passed
If the deer girl took lotus steps
This is the land of lotuses
Like clouds we drift from here.