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Qiang Village (1)

by
Towering red cloud west
Sun base down level ground
Wicker gate bird sparrow chirp
Return traveller thousand li to
Wife children surprised I be present
Shock calm more wipe tears
Life disorder meet float swing
Return alive chance succeed
Neighbour satisfied top of wall
Sigh also sob
Night late more grasp candle
Opposite like dream


Red clouds tower in the west,
The sun is sinking on the plain.
A sparrow chirps on the wicker gate,
I return from a thousand li away.
My wife and children are shocked to see me,
Then calm themselves and wipe their tears.
I floated through this disordered life,
By chance I have managed to return alive.
The neighbours all lean over the wall,
And they as well are sighing and sobbing.
Late at night we bring out candles,
And face each other as in a dream.

Poem by Du Fu
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