“Untitled (I)” appears courtesy of www.coppercanyonpress.org. Reprinted from Arthur Sze's The Silk Dragon: Translations from the Chinese, translated and introduced by Arthur Sze. © 2001 Arthur Sze.


To read Arthur Sze's translations of

T'ao Ch'ien

Li Ch'ing-chao

Li Ho

Wen I-to

Li Po

Wang Wei


Read our interview with Arthur Sze in this issue.


Read a selection of Sze's poetry in an earlier issue.


At bn.com, a complete list of titles by Arthur Sze
Li Shang-yin (813-858)

Translated by Arthur Sze

Untitled (I)

The chance to meet is difficult,
******** but parting is even more difficult.
The east wind is powerless
******** as the hundred flowers wither.
A spring silkworm spins silk
******** up to the instant of death.
A candle only stops weeping
******** when its wick becomes ash.
In the morning mirror, she grieves
******** that the hair on her temples whitens.
Chanting poems in the evening,
******** she only senses the moonlight's cold.
From here, P'eng Mountain is not too far.
******** O Green Bird, seek, seek her out.