Chinese Love Poem

I have often heard that the ancient Chinese had no concept of romantic love. Here is a an example to the contrary, in this poem on grief over a lost wife. It was written by poet Mei Yao Ch’en (1002-1060).

Translated by Kenneth Rexroth.

 

Who says that the dead do not think of us?

Whenever I travel, she goes with me.

She was uneasy when I was on a journey.

She always wanted to accompany me.

While I dream, everything is as it used to be.

When I wake up, I am stabbed with sorrow.

The living are often parted and never meet again.

The dead are together as pure souls.

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