Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Letter to His Two Small Children by Li Po

In the land of Wu the mulberry leaves are green,

Silkworms in Wu have now had three sleeps:

My family, left in eastern Lu,

Oh, to sow now Turtle-shaded fields,

Do the Spring things I can never join.

Sailing Yangtze always on my own—


Let the South Wind blow you back my heart,

Fly and land it in the Tavern Court

Where, to the East, there are sprays and leaves

Of one peach tree, sweeping the blue mist;


This is the tree I myself put in

When I left you, nearly three years past;

A peach tree now, level with the eaves,

And I sailing cannot yet turn home!


Pretty daughter, P’ing-yang is your name,

Breaking blossom, you cannot see me

And your tears flow like the running stream;


And little son, Po-ch’in you are called,

Your big sister’s shoulder you must reach

When you come there underneath my peach,

Oh to pat and pet you too, my child!


I dreamt like this till my wits went wild,

By such yewarning dialy burned within;

So tore some silk, wrote this distant pang

From me to you living at Wen Yang…

Quiet Night Thoughts by Li Po

Before my bed
there is bright moonlight
So that it seems
like frost on the ground:

Lifting my head
I watch the bight moon,
Lowering my head
I dream that I'm home.

For Wei Pa, In Retirement by Tu Fu

Our livelong days we never meeting

Move as do stars in other clusters,

Yet this evening (“And what an evening!”)

We’re sharing this lamp and candlelight;

But youth and strength, how briefly it lasts

For both our heads have become grizzled

And half of those we ask about, ghosts,

Till cries of shock pierce our very breasts:

How could we know twenty years would pass

Before I came again to your house?

Though in those days you were unmarried

Suddenly sons and daughters troop in,

“Greet merrily Papa’s Companion,”

Ask from what parts it is that I come?

But such exchange remains unfinished:

You chase them off to get out the wine

“And in night rain pull up spring onions”

To be steamed fresh with yellow millet…

Now (with your “Come, we can meet seldom”)

You’ve charged my glass ten times in sequence:

Ten times and still I’m not quite tipsy

But filled with sense of old acquaintance;

For tomorrow the hills divide us,

Both out of sight in the world’s affairs!

Jade Flower Palace by Tu Fu

The stream swirls. The wind moans in 

The pines. Gray rats scurry over 

Broken tiles. What prince, long ago, 

Built this palace, standing in 

Ruins beside the cliffs? There are 

Green ghost fires in the black rooms. 

The shattered pavements are all 

Washed away. Ten thousand organ 

Pipes whistle and roar. The storm 

Scatters the red autumn leaves. 

His dancing girls are yellow dust. 

Their painted cheeks have crumbled 

Away. His gold chariots 

And courtiers are gone. Only 

A stone horse is left of his 

Glory. I sit on the grass and 

Start a poem, but the pathos of 

It overcomes me. The future 

Slips imperceptibly away. 

Who can say what the years will bring? 

Night Thoughts Afloat by Tu Fu

By bent grasses

in a gentle wind

Under straight mast

I’m alone tonight,


And the stars hang

above the broad plain

But moon’s afloat

in this Great River:


Oh, where’s my name

among the poets?

Official rank?

“Retired for ill-health.”

Drifting, drifting,

what am I more than

A single gull

between sky and earth?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tuesday, March 10

Read Act 2.  Work on LRJ 1 and 2.

  • We will finish reading As You Like It this week.  If you want to recite a memorized soliloquy or monologue, make sure you sign up with Ms. Peifer by Friday, March 13th.  We will be presenting them either next Tuesday or Wednesday.  
  • Also, continue thinking about your comparative paper.   This is due Friday, March 20th. 
  • If you are turning in the extra credit assignment, that is also due Friday, March 20th.  (This is watching a movie version of Macbeth and writing a review of it). 

Friday, March 6, 2009

How far did we read today?

In hour four, we stopped at the end of Act One. 

In hour five, we continued reading and ended on page 71 (Act 2 Scene 6).