Friday Poem

Lunar Eclipse

A maid comes running into the house
talking about things beyond belief,

about the sky all turned to blue glass,
the moon to a crystal of black quartz.

It rose a full ten parts round tonight,
but now it’s just a bare sliver of light.

My wife hurries off to fry roundcakes,
and my son starts banging on mirrors:

it’s awfully shallow thinking, I know,
but that urge to restore is beautiful.

The night deepens. The moon emerges,
then goes on shepherding stars west.

by Mei Yao-ch’en (1002-1060)
from Mountain Home: The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China
Counterpoint, 2002
translated from the Chinese by David Hinton