Li Ch’ing-Chao


To the Tune ‘ The Silk Washing Brook’

I cannot permit myself

To give way to too many cups of thick amber wine,

Or I will become so drunk

I will lose control of myself.

The first scattered bells

Are borne on the evening breeze.

Auspicious Dragon incense fades

Like my interrupted dream.

The delicate gold-bird hair pins

Fall from my tangled hair.

I awake

In the empty night

Face to face with a

Guttering candle.

Li Ch’ing-chao , Complete poems (tr Kenneth Rexroth and  Ling Chung)

New Directions 1979.




4 thoughts on “Li Ch’ing-Chao

  1. The author is a woman and her words are evocative of loss, loneliness and sadness. The beuty of evening seems to increase her sadness.


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