Bamboo Branch Song (???)

Liu Yuxi (772-842) ???


Willows are green, green and the riverwater flat.

I hear a man on the river singing me songs

and see sun on my east, rain to my west.

The sun is shying off, but I feel his shine

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Note on the Translation: In translating this poem, we had a lot of fun with the impossible translation problem of the last line, which literally means “if you say there is no sunshine, yet sunshine there is,” but here’s the point: the word for sunshine, qing (?) and the word for love, qing (?), sound the same, creating a double-entendre here. Thus, the sun and the singing man become equated, so that being in sunshine is being in love, and the rain threatens that connection. We moved a bit away from the original syntax, but tried our best to maintain the essential meaning while translating so as to keep an equivalent to the original pun, but including the homophone of “shying” and “shine.”