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Facing Snow #4

© 2008
BASID #784

Beth Ames Swartz
Facing Snow #4
acrylic and mixed media on canvas
36" x 48" (0.91m x 1.22m)






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




Facing Snow




Enough new ghosts now to mourn any war,


And a lone old grief-sung man. Clouds at


Twilight’s ragged edge foundering, wind


Buffets a dance of headlong snow. A ladle


Lies besides this jar drained of emerald1


Wine. The stove’s flame-red mirage lingers.


News comes from nowhere. I sit here,


Spirit-wounded, tracing words onto air.







Translation Selected

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

     1.  See notes to ID #782. The wine is “emerald” (liok) meaning green or blue-black when used as an attribute of wine.


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.

     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 T’ang. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1981, 201, 390-1 (10973).

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

     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.

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

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