Timeless classics?

Some poems time travel better. Translations can update the linguistic wardrobe I suppose.

Night Thoughts

I cannot sleep. The long, long
Night is full of bitterness.
I sit alone in my room,
beside a smoky lamp.
I rub my heavy eyelids
And idly turn the pages
Of my book. Again and again
I trim my brush and stir the ink.
The hours go by. The moon comes
In the open window, pale
And bright like new money.
At last I fall asleep and
I dream of the days on the
River at Tsa-feng, and the
Friends of my youth in Yen Chao.
young and happy we ran
Over the beautiful hills.
And now the years have gone by.
And I have never gone back.

Lu Yu (1125 – 1209) (translated by Kenneth Rexroth in the 1950s)

The New Directions Anthology of Jacket Magazine review pointed out this Kenneth Rexroth to me. Now I’m inundated in books. Poetry I requested from the library at all different weeks is coming in at once.

I wanted to read again Marianne Bluger‘s Tamarack and Clearcut and Lucille Clifton’s Next poems. I wanted to read more of this Rexroth fellow and more of Wallace Stevens in Collected poems, but not all at the same time. A pressured proffered blessing.

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