Saturday, 30 March 2013

Spring from another perspective?

We are familiar with Western poetry about the Spring but English speakers may be less familar with the following poem which has been sensitively translated by TC Lai:

Spring - Chun Kwan (1049 - 1100)

Spring has sprayed the paths with flowers
As scores of thrushes
Rishing from the bushes
Burst out like fireworks to announce their joy.

I lie in the shade of an old oak, drunk.
The clouds overhead race;
Tigers, dragons and bears
Changelings each other chase
Till the evening sun steals in and bathes
In the quick-gold of the lake unawares.

I love the contrast between the poetic flights of fancy which are punctured by the prosaic description of him being"drunk." He goes from this simple statement of condition to musing even more complex imaginings. The juxtaposition of the literary and mundane reminds me of Oscar Wilde's "we are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars"

This poem is a glorious snapshot in time which will come back to you as you look at the Spring sky, wherever you are in the world.

Happy Easter