|The Chinese Travelogue|
If you could dull its perspicuity, free it from chaos, limit its gleam,
liken it to a grain of dust, then it would seem to exist clearly.
Will we really part,
part like everyone else?
about passion swifter than the end,
about the world smaller than a penny –
let they who need it take it –
this shell has no pearls,
that there is not a single match, candle or lampion
only the fire of rapture,
knowing from where
sonorousness and luminescence come.
Will we really part, like simple ignoramuses?
No less than the willow growing by the waterside,
no less than the water
follows the magnet of the star,
than drunk Li Po looking
into the wine, yellow as the moon
and than a stone sinks to the bottom:
loving to be together...
Will we really part like simple misers
Must we, too, like all others,
about passion that’s quicker than finality,
about the world that’s smaller than a penny –
let whoever needs take –
knowing that this shell has no pearl,
that there’s no match, candle, or lantern
other than the flash of rapture,
knowing whence come
sound and light –
must we, too, part, like simple fools?
Loving to be together
no less than willows love to grow by the water,
or than waters to follow a starʼs magnet,
or than the drunken Li Po to stare
at the yellow, moonlike, wine,
or than a stone to sink to the bottom –
must we, too, part, like simple misers and boors?