Toubi ji 55 by Qian Qianyi

It is not quite like wailing, nor like songs,
I grind ink on my broken inkslab as on a shield.
My remaining years , I live them as some random musings –
Oh, that my sparse brush might sweep the demon-host away!
There is no road ahead and the day is waning: I resort to this;
My hair is thin, yet my mind loaded; what else can I do?
Only when I am through chanting “Wuyi1” will I stop crying;
One hundred poems, all wailing and stamping – still not enough.

1”Wuyi” (Mao no. 133) – poem from the Shijing (Book of Odes)

From: Yim, Lawrence C. H., The Poet-historian Qian Qianyi, 2009, Routledge: Oxford, p. 5.

Date: 1662 (original); 2009 (translation)

By: Qian Qianyi (1582-1664)

Translated by: Lawrence C. H. Yim (19??- )


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