“Untitled (I)” appears courtesy of Copper Canyon Press. Reprinted from Arthur Sze's The Silk Dragon: Translations from the Chinese, translated and introduced by Arthur Sze. © 2001 Arthur Sze.
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Read our interview with Arthur Sze in this issue.
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At bn.com, a complete list of titles by Arthur Sze
Li Ho (790-816)
Translated by Arthur Sze
Wind in the plane tree startles the heart: a grown man's grief.
By dying lamplight, crickets are weeping cold threads.
Who will ever read the green bamboo slips of this book?
Or stop the ornate worms from gnawing powdery holes?
Such thoughts tonight must disentangle in my gut.
In the humming rain, a fragrant spirit consoles this poet.
On an autumn grave, a ghost chants Pao Chao's poem,
and his spiteful blood, buried a thousand years, is now green jade.