POEM TRANSLATION HAIKU/SENRYU 549: WAILING IN WAR
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.