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Heaven disports herself

© 2007
BASID #719

Beth Ames Swartz
Standing Alone
acrylic on paper on canvas
20" x 24" (0.51m x 0.61m)

(Du Fu, also Romanized as Tu Fu, 712 - 770 A.C.E, Chinese)

Standing Alone
Empty skies. And beyond, one hawk.
Between river banks, two white gulls
Drift and flutter.
Fit for an easy kill,
To and fro, they follow contentment.
Dew shrouds grasses.
Spiderwebs are still
Not gathered in.
The purpose driving
Heaven become human now,
I stand where
Uncounted sorrows begin beginning alone.

Hinton, David. The Selected Poems of Tu Fu. New York, New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1988, 1989, p.46

I Stand Alone
A single bird of prey beyond the sky.
a pair of white gulls between riverbanks.
Hovering wind tossed, ready to strike; the pair, at their ease, roaming to and fro.
And the dew is also full on the grasses, spiders' filaments still not drawn in.
Instigations in nature approach men's affairs--
I stand alone in thousands of sources of worry.

Owen, Stephen, trans. & ed. An Anthology of Chinese Literature. New York: W.W. Norton, 1996, p. 426