Poems of Meng Jiao
Going to See Old Friends
Old friends, last month of summer,
Been here three months already myself.
No day passed I didn't miss them,
Watching my reflection change in the water.
Who knew, mid-winter,
Suddenly, a gathering time?
Brush myself off, stand around, while
Red carp leap from the lake.
I try not to do pigeon-English translations that sound like American Indians on 1960's TV shows. The Tang Chinese (and the Indians) deserve better. Even five characters in Chinese make for a full sentence, if not three or four. I try to keep it to one. But sometimes the poem is like this one, more of a collage than a description. And I think this would be true to the Tang listener as well. So I present it as it comes to me.