‘Foam and rafts decorated with jade;
Tiny blue birds
Perched together on branches.’
Chiang K’uei (1155-1235)
Wouldn’t it be better,
Sitting beneath the murmur of willows,
To bow one’s head lengthily, calmly,
Over the breviary
Of small essential things?
To be moved by the eloquent courtesy
Of taciturn moments,
By the scrupulously silent white crocuses?
To feel against your hallucinated eyes
The soft and welcoming silk
Of your own modest eyelids!
Translated from the French of Athanase Vatnchev de Thracy by Norton Hodges 11.03.12.