游崇真观南楼睹新及第题名处 Visiting the South Tower of Lofty-Truth Temple, I View the Newly Inscribed Names of Imperial Graduates – 鱼玄机 Yu Xuanji

游崇真观南楼,
睹新及第题名处

云峰满目放春晴,
历历银钩指下生。
自恨罗衣掩诗句,
举头空羡榜中名。

-鱼玄机

Visiting the South Tower of Lofty-Truth Temple,
I view the newly inscribed names of Imperial Graduates

Cloudy summits fill my eyes this fine spring day,
I catch every silver stroke beneath my fingertips.
How I hate this silk dress which conceals my poetry,
I raise my head in hopeless envy of the names that are listed.

– Yu XuanJi

Translation by Dean Marais

About Yu Xuanji:

Yu XuanJi wrote her first poem at 6 years old. When she was older, being exceptionally beautiful, she was sold as a concubine to an official who fell in love with her. However, his jealous wife forced him to throw her out. With no home or income she had to turn to prostitution in Chang’An. She met many of the poets of her day there, and ended up at a taoist temple where she continued to write poems. The story goes that she was falsely accused of murder, and though many of her poet friends pleaded for her life, she was executed in Chang’An at 26 years of age.

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夏日山居 A Summer Day Living in The Mountains – 鱼玄机 Yu Xuanji

夏日山居

移得仙居此地来,
花丛自遍不曾栽。
庭前亚树张衣桁,
坐上新泉泛酒杯。
轩槛暗传深竹径,
绮罗长拥乱书堆。
闲乘画舫吟明月,
信任轻风吹却回。

鱼玄机

A Summer Day Living In The Mountains

I’ve moved to this residence suitable for the gods,
Wild clusters of flowers bloom all over.
My gown hangs on a tree in the front courtyard;
I sit beside a fresh spring floating wine cups.
Beyond the pavilion’s railing, a path stretches back into the dark bamboo,
My silk dress lies draped over disorderly piles of books.
I leisurely float in a painted boat, chanting to the bright moon,
Trusting in the light breeze to blow me back again.

Yu XuanJi

Translation by Dean Marais

About Yu Xuanji:

Yu XuanJi wrote her first poem at 6 years old. When she was older, being exceptionally beautiful, she was sold as a concubine to an official who fell in love with her. However, his jealous wife forced him to throw her out. With no home or income she had to turn to prostitution in Chang’An. She met many of the poets of her day there, and ended up at a taoist temple where she continued to write poems. The story goes that she was falsely accused of murder, and though many of her poet friends pleaded for her life, she was executed in Chang’An at 26 years of age.

赋得江边柳 A Poem For The Willows By The River – 鱼玄机 Yu Xuanji

赋得江边柳

翠色连荒岸,
烟姿入远楼。
影铺秋水面,
花落钓人头。
根老藏鱼窟,
枝低系客舟。
萧萧风雨夜,
惊梦复添愁。

鱼玄机

A Poem For The Willows By The River

An emerald iridescence merges with the desolate river banks,
Cloudy mists dance their way into distant homes.
Autumn reflections scatter out upon the surface of the river,
Flowers drop down upon the heads of the fishermen.
Old roots conceal the fishes hidden dens,
As passenger boats moore themselves to hanging willow branches.
The night grieves with wind and rain,
And startling dreams only add to my restlessness.

-Yu Xuanji

Translation by Dean Marais

About Yu Xuanji:

Yu XuanJi wrote her first poem at 6 years old. When she was older, being exceptionally beautiful, she was sold as a concubine to an official who fell in love with her. However, his jealous wife forced him to throw her out. With no home or income she had to turn to prostitution in Chang’An. She met many of the poets of her day there, and ended up at a taoist temple where she continued to write poems. The story goes that she was falsely accused of murder, and though many of her poet friends pleaded for her life, she was executed in Chang’An at 26 years of age.

寄国香 To Guo Xiang – Yu XuanJi 鱼玄机

寄国香
旦夕醉吟身,
相思又此春。
雨中寄书使,
窗下断肠人。
山卷珠帘看,
愁随芳草新。
别来清宴上,
几度落梁尘?

To Guo Xiang

Sunset to sunrise I am drunk and singing,
Thinking of you, lovesick, with spring here once again.
There’s an envoy with letters in the rain,
And a broken hearted woman by the window.
Rolling up red beaded blinds, she looks at the mountains;
Her worries renewed like the fresh and fragrant grass.
Since we were separated at your last banquet,
How many times has the dust of your roof-beams fallen?

-Yu Xuanji

Translated by Dean Marais

About Yu Xuanji:
Yu XuanJi wrote her first poem at 6 years old. When she was older, being exceptionally beautiful, she was sold as a concubine to an official who fell in love with her. However, his jealous wife forced him to throw her out. With no home or income she had to turn to prostitution in Chang’An. She met many of the poets of her day there, and ended up at a taoist temple where she continued to write poems. The story goes that she was falsely accused of murder, and though many of her poet friends pleaded for her life, she was executed in Chang’An at 26 years of age.