To-Em-mei's "The Unmoving Cloud"
T'ao Yuanming (365-427), Chinese poet
English verse by Ezra Pound (1885-1972), American poet

"Wet springtime," says To-em-mei, "Wet spring in the garden."

I.
The clouds have gathered, and gathered,
and the rain falls and falls,
The eight ply of the heavens
are all folded into one darkness,
And the wide, flat road stretches out.
I stop in my room toward the East, quiet, quiet,
I pat my new cask of wine.
My friends are estranged, or far distant,
I bow my head and stand still.

II
Rain, rain, and the clouds have gathered,
The eight ply of the heavens are darkness,
The flat land is turned into river.
"Wine, wine, here is wine!"
I drink by my eastern window.
I think of talking and man,
And no boat, no carriage, approaches.

III
The trees in my east-looking garden
are bursting out with new twigs,
They try to stir new affection,
And men say the sun and moon keep on moving
because they can't find a soft seat.
The birds flutter to rest in my tree,
and I think I have heard them saying,
"It is not that there are no other men
But we like this fellow the best,
But however we long to speak
He can not know of our sorrow."

from Cathay (1915)
from the notes of the late Ernest Fenollosa, and the decipherings of the professors Mori and Ariga


courtesy of  vintagewinepoems.com