Posts tagged ‘17th Century’

Monday, 30 March 2020

Majestic Valley by Chu Yi-tsun

Birds become frightened when the mountain moon sets;
Trees stand still when the valley wind dies.
When the monastery drum rolls through the deep forest,
The hermit monks have already prepared their meal.

From: Liu, Wu-chi and Lo, Irving Yucheng (eds.), Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry, 1990, Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianopolis, p. 476.

Date: 17th century (original in Chinese); ?1958 (translation in English)

By: Chu Yi-tsun (1629-1709)

Translated by: Yangulaoren (1867-1941) and Lewis Calvin Walmsley (1897-1998)

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Life’s Illusion by Sarmad Kashani

You sleep
you forget yourself
and forgetfulness
brings no fruit but regret.
Your friends have gone ahead
you too are on the way;
Why do you not contemplate
life’s illusion?

From: Wilson, Peter Lamborn and Pourjavady, Nasrollah (eds. and transls.), The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry, 1987, Phanes Press: Grand Rapids, Michigan, p. 20.

Date: 17th century (original in Persian); 1987 (translation in English)

By: Sarmad Kashani (c1590-1661)

Translated by: Peter Lamborn Wilson (1945- ) and Nasrollah Pourjavady (1943- )

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Life a Bane by Posidippus of Pella

What course of life should wretched mortals take?
In courts hard questions large contention make:
Care dwells in houses, labor in the field,
Tumultuous seas affrighting dangers yield.
In foreign lands thou never canst be blessed;
If rich, thou art in fear; if poor, distressed.
In wedlock frequent discontentments swell;
Unmarried persons as in deserts dwell.
How many troubles are with children born;
Yet he that wants them counts himself forlorn.
Young men are wanton, and of wisdom void;
Gray hairs are cold, unfit to be employed.
Who would not one of these two offers choose,
Not to be born, or breath with speed to lose?


Date: 3rd century BCE (original in Greek); 17th century (translation in English)

By: Posidippus of Pella (c310-c240 BCE)

Translated by: John Beaumont (1583-1627)