Jiang’an, Sichuan


Jiang’an, Sichuan

Tune pattern: Jiang chengzi

Along the autumn shoal, the evening sun catches sails

of the few boats still fishing in the shallows.

I stand close by, overshadowed by the rocky headlands.

My eyes fall on the opposite bank, then on scattered yellow leaves.

Suddenly I hear the horizontal notes of a flute

But I cannot see the riding cowherd.


Azure sky, dim haze, prolonged dusk.

Thoughts weave together as I rise and fall in dreams.

Such fine moments pass.

Leaves have fallen from last night’s clear frost:

A thousand mountain slopes laid bare.

The mountains do not speak: the river flows into silence.



—Chang Ch’ung-ho

Translated by Hans H. Frankel and Ian Boyden

[This poem first appeared in the artist book Peach Blossom Fish (Crab Quill Press, 1999.]

Constellations of Humanity

Each luminous dot on this map represents one reader of this poem. As the number of readers increases, the stars begin to cluster and form an increasingly detailed constellation. My intent is to show how brightly a poem glows across our world. I welcome your light.

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