Alone, Looking for Blossoms Along the River, by Tu Fu

The title of this poem, at least, is very apropos at the moment for me.  My favourite line is “Spring is a frail splendor among gentle breezes.”

Alone, Looking for Blossoms Along the River 

 

The sorrow of riverside blossoms inexplicable,

And nowhere to complain — I’ve gone half crazy.

I look up our southern neighbor. But my friend in wine

Gone ten days drinking. I find only an empty bed.

 

A thick frenzy of blossoms shrouding the riverside,

I stroll, listing dangerously, in full fear of spring.

Poems, wine — even this profusely driven, I endure.

Arrangements for this old, white-haired man can wait.

 

A deep river, two or three houses in bamboo quiet,

And such goings on: red blossoms glaring with white!

Among spring’s vociferous glories, I too have my place:

With a lovely wine, bidding life’s affairs bon voyage.

 

Looking east to Shao, its smoke filled with blossoms,

I admire that stately Po-hua wineshop even more.

To empty golden wine cups, calling such beautiful

Dancing girls to embroidered mats — who could bear it?

 

East of the river, before Abbot Huang’s grave,

Spring is a frail splendor among gentle breezes.

In this crush of peach blossoms opening ownerless,

Shall I treasure light reds, or treasure them dark?

 

At Madame Huang’s house, blossoms fill the paths:

Thousands, tens of thousands haul the branches down.

And butterflies linger playfully — an unbroken

Dance floating to songs orioles sing at their ease.

 

I don’t so love blossoms I want to die. I’m afraid,

Once they are gone, of old age still more impetuous.

And they scatter gladly, by the branchful. Let’s talk

Things over, little buds —open delicately, sparingly.

 

– Tu Fu

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