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To the Tune of "Telling My Most Intimate Feelings"

Li Ch'ing-chao
When night comes,
                I am so flushed with wine,
I undo my hair slowly:
                a plum calyx is
        stuck on a damaged branch.
I wake dazed when smoke
        breaks my spring sleep.
The dream distant,
                so very distant;
        and it is quiet, so very quiet.
The moon spins and spins.
The kingfisher blinds are drawn;
                and yet I rub the injured bud,
        and yet I twist in my fingers this fragrance,
        and yet I possess these moments of time!

From The Silk Dragon: Translations from the Chinese, poems by Li Ch'ing-chao, translated by Arthur Sze, and published by Copper Canyon Press. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press (www.coppercanyonpress.org). Copyright © 2000. All rights reserved.

From The Silk Dragon: Translations from the Chinese, poems by Li Ch'ing-chao, translated by Arthur Sze, and published by Copper Canyon Press. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press (www.coppercanyonpress.org). Copyright © 2000. All rights reserved.

Li Ch'ing-chao