Archive for June 5th, 2019

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Sick Cicada by Jia Dao

A sick cicada, unable now to fly,
Walks over onto my palm.
Its broken wings can still grow thinner.
And its bitter songs are clear as ever.
Dewdrops stick on its belly,
Dust specks fallen by mischance in its eyes.
The oriole and the kite as well
Both harbor the thought of your ruin.

From: Liu, Wu-chi and Lo, Irving Youcheng (eds.), Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry, 1975, Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, p. 227.

Date: 9th century (original); 1975 (translation)

By: Jia Dao (779-843)

Translated by: Stephen Owen (1946- )