Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Green Jade Plum Trees in Spring

Spring comes early to the gardens of the South,
Of the South, with dancing flowers.
The gentle breeze carries the sound
Of horses whinnying. The blue
Green plums are already as large
As beans. The willow leaves are long,
And really are curved like a girl's
Eyebrows. Butterflies whirl in the
Long sunlight. in the evening the
Mist lies heavy on the flowers.
The grass is heavy with dew.
Girls in their transparent dresses,
Indolent and lascivious,
Lounge in their hammocks. Swallows, two
By two, nest under the painted eaves.
Ou Yang Hsiu
Trans. Kenneth Rexroth.

Rexroth was a poet, translator, essayist, soda jerk, union activist,soapbox ranter, traveller; Beat poet who later left the Beats; anarchist and preserver of culture. It makes no sense and maybe it does.

But in any case, I look forward to Spring.

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