DU FU - The Boating Party

One of the few 'joyous' poems in Du Fu's catalogue.  This translations makes use of onomonopaeia, or the sound of words as an integral part of the poem. The last sentence regarding the black clouds threatening his poems refers to the use of water-based ink, meaning the rains would destroy the poem.

dufudrinking

       

At twilight we flow lazily downstream.

A soft wind gently sweets out ripples.

Lightly we glide through jungle bamboo

And enter a tranquil cool of waterlilies.

 

Young men are preparing cold drinks for us.

Beautiful women are slicing fresh lotus root.

Black clouds loom and threaten overhead,

Forcing out my poem before it rains.

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