Thursday, July 07, 2016

Man's affairs are like the flow of floodwater, / A life is just like floating in a dream - Li Yu #QotD

 Last Night the Wind and Rain Together Blew (Crows Crying at Night)

Last night the wind and rain together blew,
The wall-curtains rustled in their autumn song.
The candle died, the water-clock was exhausted,
I rose and sat, but could not be at peace.
Man's affairs are like the flow of floodwater,
A life is just like floating in a dream.
I should more often go drunken through the country,
For otherwise I could not bear to live.
- Li Yu

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Li Yu was an early writer of Song dynasty lyrics, (ci in Chinese), a much more fluid form than those used by the great Tang poets. His works often express strong romantic or nostalgic feelings; they bear the title only of the tune to which they were sung. Here they are identified by their first line in English. (from the website)

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Book at right is from the Ancient Chinese Book collection, Shanghai Library and note related to the poem

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