Tag Archives: Du Fu:Facing Snow



wars wail out new ghosts

melancholy mood in air

the lonely aged moans

clouds bow in twilight

snow dance and drift by whirl wind

cause upheaval scene

ladle left emptied

of rice wine, stoke flame in stove

sparks red fiery sight

severed state and news

scrawl my poetry in sorrow

sadness sunk in void


This is a translated poem by Du Fu, a popular Chinese poet, sage historian, and humble civil servant in Tang Dynasty (712-770AD). I have chosen to translate in haiku/senryu, instead of line to line rendition of five characters regulated verse, in couplets per line, with total of four lines.

The original title is Facing Snow, written in 756. There was an An Lu rebellion in Chang-an and the poet was arrested and locked up in the city in winter. The couplet depicted the suffering of war and the hardship in winter, living with little money to procure wine to keep warm, and inadequate clothing. He sang his sorrow in solitude, with weariness about war, winter and poverty.

We share his sentiments about the illegitimacy of state affairs and corruptions, and our restricted freedom in MCO. We have an extended lockup. Our calamities with covid-19  pandemic is a war with disease and out of balances in living. Our “winter” will be prolonged, lasting a year or two. By the end of the upheaval, if not sick or dead, we would be bankrupt, or jobless for some. Like Du Fu, we are healed in the poetry of living., the morals of love and compassion. It is always in darkness that human beings awake with new understanding. We see the shadows of our ego and desire better in the dark, for the little light that shines shows the way out of the tunnel.

All the pictures are copied and pasted from the web, with appreciation.