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.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s