Fan Jinghua: A Valediction
As if all of a sudden, it mellows, in your words and pictures,
Autumn, catalyzed, pours into my spare cup of knowledge
About the places of this season:
Golden Hill, Windy City, Blooming Town and Net-ground Shore
Where people’s walking-away looks so mesmerizing.
There, on campus, Halloween costumes with wings and courtesan faces
Are beautiful, and some under umbrellas hope for a drizzle
More sonorous, but there are only ginkgo leaves
Swirling down and incidentally sticking on the black nylon;
Wind is too small and your skirt does not flare.
For the entire afternoon till nightfall that forces the light
To huddle up under the streetlamp shades, one line
From the cut-out half of an always truncated poem
Haunts my mind “Scent of grasses afar invades the ancient road,”
While I try not to let the image of a bleak city invade my mind
By eroticizing and rejuvenating it with a lovely woman.
The bright morning you said like strokes of dawn clouds
“You are a gem, gorgeous and great,” and I was made
To be more humble and diligent even at night;
But we have been saying goodbye every day, virtually.
Oct. 29, 2009
Note: Bai Juyi's poem "Grass" was truncated in the school text, so that most people only know the first fours lines of the five-character regulated verse, while the latter half is often forgotten. The line "Afar, scents invade the ancient road" is followed by another line in the couplet "The green meets the bleak city".