New Flowers by Wang Anshi

Old age has few joys or comforts,
Let alone lying sick in bed.
Drawing water to put new flowers in,
I hope to console myself with the floating fragrance.
The floating fragrance lasts only a moment,
And I too – how can I endure long?
The new flowers and the old I
Are all over, and both may be forgotten.

From: Liu, James J. Y., “Six Poems by Wang An-Shih” in Renditions, Autumn 1973, pp. 91-93.

Date: 11th century (original in Chinese); 1973 (translation in English)

By: Wang Anshi (1021-1086)

Translated by: James J Y Liu (1926-1986)

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