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Falling Snow #3

© 2008
BASID #783

Beth Ames Swartz
Falling Snow #3
acrylic and mixed media on canvas
48" x 60" (1.22m x 1.52m)



杜甫 (Du Fu, also Romanized as Tu Fu, 712770 a.c.e., Chinese)




Facing the Snow




   Above the battlefield

many new ghosts are crying;


   steeped in sorrow

a lone man is chanting.


   Chaotic clouds

founder on fading twilight;


   snowflakes driven

in swirling winds are dancing.


   The ladle lies useless,

the wine-jar toppled over;


   the stove grows cold,

red embers slowly fading.


   No news comes

from anywhere this winter.


   In empty air

a sad old man is writing.



Translation Selected

Holyoak, Keith, trans. Facing the Moon: Poems of Li Bai and Du Fu. Durham, NH: Oyster River, 2007, 102-3.

Other English Translations

Ayscough, Florence Wheelock and Lowell, Amy, trans. The Autobiography of a Chinese Poet, Vol. I, a.d. 712-759. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1929, 228-9.

Alley, Rewi, trans. Du Fu: Selected Poems. Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 1962 (as Tu Fu: Selected Poems), 2001, 68-9.

Davis, A(lbert) R(ichard). Tu Fu. New York: Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1971, 52.

Rexroth, Kenneth. One Hundred Poems from the Chinese. New York: New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1971, IV, 6. [Rexroth uses skurries rather than scurries.]

Seaton, J. P.& Cryer, James, trans. Bright Moon, Perching Birds: Poems. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1971, 1987, 65.

Owen, Stephen. The Great Age of Chinese Poetry: the High Tang. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1981, 201, 390-1 (10973).

Wu, Juntao, trans. Tu Fua New Translation. Hong Kong: The Commercial Press Ltd, 1981, 54-5.

Hinton, David. The Selected Poems of Tu Fu. New York: New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1988, 1989, 26, 161.

Hamill, Sam. Crossing the Yellow River: 300 Poems from the Chinese. Rochester, NY: BOA Editions, 2000, 163. Also, Hamill, Sam and Seaton, J. P., ed. & trans. The Poetry of Zen, Boston & London: Shambhala, 2004, 51. Also, Hamill, Sam, trans. Endless River. New York: Weatherhill, Inc., 1993, 61.

Barnstone Tony and Chou, Ping, ed. & trans. The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry. New York: Random House, Inc., 2005, 132-3.

Dōngbō (東波). Online: http://www.mountainsongs.net/poem_.php?id=199.