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Plastic Flute Poems

"Song was Sung" means the Chinese Song dynasty was known as the Sung Dynasty earlier, through the Wade-Giles way of writing out Chinese letters in English. Thus, Song poetry refers to the poetry typical of the Song dynasty of China (960-1279).

Many of the best known Classical Chinese poems, popular also in translation, are by Song dynasty poets, such as Su Shi (Dongpo), Ouyang Xiu, Lu You and Yang Wanli. [WP, "Song poetry"]

Here are some modern adaptations by me. - TK


I could have stopped in Varanasi
Much would have changed.
I awake and sigh -
Keen and cold the north wind blows.

A maker of songs is a poet,
He hardly knew it was that bad.

The best thinker has a heart of his own.
He chooses his themes
Or they come to him.

Of the best of British composers the people hardly know they exist
The next best they love and praise.

A deep-going patron of literature and fun said,
"Short is the time we are here!
Poetry we like, keeps us still open.
What the world needs now
Probably stems from utter pondering."

By the harmony of sweet lines traditions are handed down,
And wisdom and inspiration.

Ancient Chinese poets interpreted themselves.
We can do the same if we like.

Medium minds and great minds too
Could have some cues
Out of great lack in delicate culture.

Some poets sit for hours before they hatch anything.
And surfaces crack open, harps come,
And unseen, felt winds inside.

Song fragments, Literature  

Giles, Herbert A. tr. Chinese Poetry in English Verse. London: Bernard Quaritch, 1898.

Waley, Arthur, tr. A Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems and More Translations from the Chinese. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1919.

Waley, Arthur, tr. More Translations from the Chinese. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1919.

Wang, Jiaosheng, tr. The Complete Ci-Poems of Li Qingzhao: A New English Translation. Philadelphia, PA: Sino-Platonic Papers No. 13, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilization, University of Pennsylvania, 1989. —— The Ci is a poetic form, a kind or lyric poetry, and Li Qingzhao excelled in it.

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