Posts tagged ‘9th Century’

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.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=BztKfrD57s8C)

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

By: Jia Dao (779-843)

Translated by: Stephen Owen (1946- )

Monday, 26 February 2018

Love by Ariwara no Narihara

Composed during a drizzle and sent to a lady whom he had secretly been secretly wooing since early in the Third Month.

Having passed the night
neither waking nor sleeping,
I have spent the day
brooding and watching the rain—
the unending rain of spring.

From: Carter, Steven D. (ed.), Traditional Japanese Poetry: An Anthology, 1991, Stanford University Press: Stanford, California, p. 79.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=dq7TOrkTCP0C)

Date: 9th century (original in Japanese); 1985 (translation in English)

By: Ariwara no Narihara (825-880)

Translated by: Helen Craig McCullough (1918-1998)

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Sententiae by Kassiani

I hate a murderer condemning the hot-tempered.
I hate the adulterer when he judges the fornicator.
I hate the leper who drives out the leprous.

I hate a rich man complaining as a poor man.
I hate the poor man boasting as in wealth.
I hate a debtor who sleeps unconcernedly.

I hate the verbose in an unsuitable time.
I hate silence when it is a time for speaking.
I hate the one who conforms to all ways.

I hate the one who does not encourage everyone with words.
I hate one who speaks before examining.
I hate the one who teaches knowing nothing.

From: http://www.istanbulkadinmuzesi.org/en/kassia

Date: 9th century (original in Greek); 2006 (translation in English)

By: Kassiani (c805-c865)

Translated by: Anna Margaret Silvas (1954- )

Saturday, 24 June 2017

I Am He Whom I Love by Mansur al-Hallaj

I am He whom I love,
and He whom I love is I:
We are two spirits
dwelling in one body.
If thou seest me,
thou seest Him,
And if thou seest Him,
thou seest us both

From: https://allpoetry.com/Mansur-Al-Hallaj

Date: 9th century (original in Arabic); 1914 (translation in English)

By: Mansur al-Hallaj (c858-922)

Translated by: Reynold Alleyne Nicholson (1868-1945)

Monday, 17 October 2016

The Scholar and His Cat, Pangur Bán by Anonymous

I and Pangur Bán my cat,
‘Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.

Better far than praise of men
‘Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill-will,
He too plies his simple skill.

‘Tis a merry task to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur’s way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.

‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.

When a mouse darts from its den,
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!

So in peace our task we ply,
Pangur Bán, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.

From: https://www.ling.upenn.edu/~beatrice/pangur-ban.html

Date: 9th century (original in Gaelic); 1934 (translation in English)

By: Anonymous

Translated by: Robin Ernest William Flower (1881-1946)

Monday, 22 August 2016

Description of the Phoenix from “The Phoenix” by Anonymous

The bird is handsome of colouring at the front, tinted with
shimmering hues in his forepart about the breast. His head is
green behind, exquisitely variegated and shot with purple.
Then the tail is handsomely pied, part burnished, part
purple, part intricately set about with glittering spots. The
wings are white to the rearward, and the throat, downward
and upward, green, and the bill, the beautiful beak, inside
and out, gleams like glass or a gem. The mien of his eye is
unflinching, in aspect most like a stone, a brilliant gem,
when by the ingenuity of the craftsmen it is set in a foil of
gold. About the neck, like a circlet of sunlight, there is a
most resplendent ring woven from feathers. The belly below
is exquisite, wondrously handsome, bright and beautiful. The
shield above, across the bird’s back, is ornately yoked. The
shanks and the tawny feet are grown over with scales.

From: http://www.apocalyptic-theories.com/literature/phoenix/mephoenc.html

Date: 9th century (original in Old English); 1998 (translation in modern English)

By: Anonymous

Translated by: Sidney Arthur James Bradley (1936- )

Friday, 12 August 2016

Runic Signature for Cynewulf’s “Fates of the Apostles” by Cynewulf

You who please      your keenness with poems,
read closely here:      can you discover
this verse’s framer?
      1
finishes.
Nobles enjoy it on earth,      but not without end,
worldly ones.
      2
must fail
      3
in our strongholds      once our bodies scatter
their loaned treasure,      like
      3
trickling through fingers.
Then
      5
and ear      require
      6
skill
in night’s narrow cell;
      7
drives your craft,
a kingly servitude.      Now can you see
who shrewd words have      shown to men?
Remember my name,      O you who admire
the sound of this song;      help succor me
and pray for my comfort.      Soon I must pass
alone, away      to look for a dwelling,
must travel so far      (no telling where!)
beyond this world      to a yet-unknown
place in the earth.      So must each person,
unless he is granted      God-sent grace.
Let us call to God      again, more eager,
begging his blessing      in this bright creation:
may we be welcomed      to his warm halls,
his home on high.      There is holiest happiness,
there the king of angels      crowns the pure
with a perishless prize.      Now his praise endures
masterful and marvelous,      and his might extends
endless and ageless      over all creation.      finit.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/detail/54752

Date: 9th century (original in Anglian dialect); 2011 (translation in English)

By: Cynewulf (9th century)

Translated by: Robert Hasenfratz (19??- ) and V. Penelope Pelizzon (1967- )

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Drunk Again by Bai Juyi

Last year, when I lay sick,
I vowed
I’d never touch a drop again
As long as I should live.

But who could know
Last year
What this year’s spring would bring?

And here I am,
Coming home from old Liu’s house
As drunk as I can be!

From: http://www.humanistictexts.org/po_chu_i.htm

Date: 9th century (original); 1933 (translation)

By: Bai Juyi (772-846)

Translated by: Henry Hersch Hart (1886-1968)

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Falling Petals by Li Shangyin

The guests are gone from the pavilion high,
In the small garden flowers are whirling around.
Along the winding path the petals lie;
To greet the setting sun, they drift up from the ground.

Heartbroken, I cannot bear to sweep them away;
From my eyes, spring soon disappears.
I pine with passing, heart’s desire lost for aye;
Nothing is left but a robe stained with tears

From: https://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/chinese_poetry_petals.html

Date: 9th century (original); 1937 (translation)

By: Li Shangyin (c813-858)

Translated by: Arthur David Schloss Waley (1889-1966)