I keep receiving very kind comments on how much readers enjoyed this blog, so although I no longer live in Beijing, I’ll update it here and there with interesting things that I come across. As you can imagine, there is actually a huge backlog of things that I never posted on this blog.
About a year ago, in the midst of semester exams during my graduate program, I was thoroughly stressed out from the stress of trying to complete a particularly dull exam. So, of course! it was time for procrastination. Normal people play video games, or whatever…I translated this poem on the transience of life.
I’m not entirely certain if my translation does the poem justice, so if you see any errors, please do tell me!
I wish to speak of all things pure
I wish to speak of all things pure,
I think of my oldest friend, my oldest love.
Flowers on the ground, stars in the sky
Human beings—have souls.
I know that nothing is forever or solid
It all fades away naturally like dew
But things that were once bright remain precious,
In their own light they gain an eternity.
Together my oldest friend and I sit on the grass reading books,
Together we walk beneath the starry sky, we speak of the future.
For poor youths this is enough.
I also once silently loved a girl.
I took pleasure in doing many small things for her.
But there was never a response, not even awareness,
My love only needed the fifteen days to the full moon to be completed.
Ah, time’s dust covers my mind
For too long I have not thought of them!
My oldest friend already sleeps in a grave.
My oldest love has already become a mother.
I am no longer a teenager.
But the cycle of nature will not stop because of me
The world will always have its young,
Everywhere there will be newly opened spirits and minds
My young comrades, let us go outdoors
Under the gentle blue sky,
With you I wish to speak of all things pure.