Saturday, July 16, 2011

So Soon

Woman With Flowers
—Painting by Odilon Redon

—Attributed to the Courtesan Tzu Yeh, C. 350-500


It is night again 
I let down my silken hair
Over my shoulders
And open my thighs
Over my lover.
"Tell me, is there any part of me
That is not lovable?"


I had not fastened my sash over my gown,
When you asked me to look out the window.
If my skirt fluttered open,
Blame the Spring wind.


The bare branches tremble
In the sudden breeze.
The twilight deepens.
My lover loves me,
And I am proud of my young beauty.


When I started wanting
to know that man,
I hoped our coupled hearts
would be like one.

Silk thoughts threaded
on a broken loom—
who'd have known 
the tangled snarls to come?


So soon. Today, love, we
part. And our re-
will that time come?

A bright lamp
shines on an empty place,
in sorrow and longing:
not yet, not yet, not

(translated from the Chinese by Kenneth Rexroth, Ling Chung, Jeanne Larsen)


Today's LittleNip: 

Octopus traps—
summer's moonspun dreams,
soon ended.


(translated from the Japanese by Lucien Stryk)



Portrait of Violet Heyman
by Odilon Redon