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Ch’eng-tu City

© 2007
BASID #762

Beth Ames Swartz
Ch’eng-tu City
acrylic and paste on canvas
36" x 48" (0.91m x 1.22m)


Words in blue visible in painted frame

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

Ch’eng-tu City
Shaded, the sun among the mulberries and elms;
It shines on my traveler’s clothes.
I have journeyed over hill and stream’s strangness,
And suddenly am at one corner of the sky.
I shall meet none but new people;
I cannot tell when I shall see my home.
The Great River flows away to the east;
Long is the time I have been a wanderer.
The layered walls are filled with splendid houses;
In winter’s last month the trees are green.
Bustling is this famous city,
Where pipes’ sounds are spaced by reed organ notes.
Of true beauty but unpleasing to me;
I turn away and gaze at the river bridge.
Rooks and sparrows at night all return,
Yet the Central Plain is distant and dim.
The new moon does not climb high;
The host of stars still disputes its light.
From of old there have been travelers;
Why should I so bitterly grieve?