Art and Aesthetics

Mr. Xie Fang Memorized and Recited My Poems

Mister Xie Fang Memorized and Recited My Poems , On a Random Day I Sent Him This Epistle After Shangyin read one of his poems to me, he calmly rested his chin on his hands and said,  “We have Beowulf, The Bhagavad-Gita, , the Bayajidda, the Sorrow at Parting of Chu Yuan, but there is…… Continue reading Mr. Xie Fang Memorized and Recited My Poems

Politics

24 Verses Lamenting The Fate Of Consul Xiao Of Suizhou

Authors note: To my knowledge this is the first translation into English of Li Shangyin’s great poem. When he wrote it, he had not yet passed the imperial examination. In it he laments the banishment of his friend and mentor Xiao Huan to Suizhou in distant Sichuan province. Enjoy! 遥作时多难,yáo zuò shí duō nán, 先令祸有源。xiān lìng huò yǒu yuán。 初惊逐客议,chū jīng zhú kè yì, 旋骇党人冤。xuán hài  dǎng…… Continue reading 24 Verses Lamenting The Fate Of Consul Xiao Of Suizhou

nature

Thirty Four Rhymes Presented To The “Five Classics” Scholar Liu

Shangyin was deep in thought, his ice cold Frappuccino was melting drops of water over his fingers. The mall plaza outside the Starbucks in Shenzhen was light and airy. Gray marble tiles gleamed for hundreds of yards under the noonday sun. In the near distance, I could see a street sweeper and a mall worker…… Continue reading Thirty Four Rhymes Presented To The “Five Classics” Scholar Liu

Art and Aesthetics

Uplifting Thoughts on a Spring Night

In all the world, there is no sky more beautiful than the African sky. During the day, it is a vast concave bowl flecked with gold and snow, so vast and encompassing one may be forgiven for having a feeling of vertigo. It is even more marvellous at night because all the most interesting things…… Continue reading Uplifting Thoughts on a Spring Night

Art and Aesthetics · Death · Religion

A Poem On The Huizhong Peony Battered By The Rain

“When I wrote the Berceuse”, Chopin told me, “ I was dreaming of many things. I had just read a book from the East called the Gita. It is a religious tract that talks about life being an illusion, and how shadows are real, and how we are the reflections of what lies in the…… Continue reading A Poem On The Huizhong Peony Battered By The Rain

Family and Friends

My Cherished Son

When Li Shangyin visited J.S. Bach in Leipzig in 1736, he was surprised at the size of the great composer’s family. Children were everywhere, under the stairs, by the gate, even lying on the harpsichord. Although the school building was cramped, the view over the moat was pleasant. A faint mist covered the idyllic countryside,…… Continue reading My Cherished Son