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At the End of Spring

A poem by Po Chū-i

to Yüan Chēn (A.D. 810)

  • The flower of the pear-tree gathers and turns to fruit;
  • The swallows’ eggs have hatched into young birds.
  • When the Seasons’ changes thus confront the mind
  • What comfort can the Doctrine of Tao give?
  • It will teach me to watch the days and months fly
  • Without grieving that Youth slips away;
  • If the Fleeting World is but a long dream,
  • It does not matter whether one is young or old.
  • But ever since the day that my friend left my side
  • And has lived an exile in the City of Chiang-ling,
  • There is one wish I cannot quite destroy:
  • That from time to time we may chance to meet again.


— translated by Arthur Waley

Po Chū-i (772–846) lived during the T’ang Dynasty, a period that produced the greatest flowering of Chinese poetry. His work was extremely popular during his lifetime and has remained popular ever since. Po’s style is marked by great simplicity and accessibility and a world view that is compassionate and socially conscious, his poems frequently noting the oppression of the poor, the abuse of political power, and the arrogance of the wealthy. He was an official in several Chinese provinces and occupied several important government positions. Arthur Waley, the translator (1889–1963), was a well-known British scholar of Asian art and translator of Chinese and Japanese literature. His biography of Po, The Life and Times of Po Chū-i, was published in 1949. “At the End of Spring” appeared in Waley’s second book, More Translations for the Chinese, published by Knopf in 1919.

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to Yüan Chēn (A.D. 810)

  • The flower of the pear-tree gathers and turns to fruit;
  • The swallows’ eggs have hatched into young birds.
  • When the Seasons’ changes thus confront the mind
  • What comfort can the Doctrine of Tao give?
  • It will teach me to watch the days and months fly
  • Without grieving that Youth slips away;
  • If the Fleeting World is but a long dream,
  • It does not matter whether one is young or old.
  • But ever since the day that my friend left my side
  • And has lived an exile in the City of Chiang-ling,
  • There is one wish I cannot quite destroy:
  • That from time to time we may chance to meet again.


— translated by Arthur Waley

Po Chū-i (772–846) lived during the T’ang Dynasty, a period that produced the greatest flowering of Chinese poetry. His work was extremely popular during his lifetime and has remained popular ever since. Po’s style is marked by great simplicity and accessibility and a world view that is compassionate and socially conscious, his poems frequently noting the oppression of the poor, the abuse of political power, and the arrogance of the wealthy. He was an official in several Chinese provinces and occupied several important government positions. Arthur Waley, the translator (1889–1963), was a well-known British scholar of Asian art and translator of Chinese and Japanese literature. His biography of Po, The Life and Times of Po Chū-i, was published in 1949. “At the End of Spring” appeared in Waley’s second book, More Translations for the Chinese, published by Knopf in 1919.

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Comments
1

this is very touching and lovely

Sept. 29, 2011

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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