Unsettled, a bird lost from the flock

by T'ao Ch'ien

English version by Wu-chi Liu
Original Language Chinese

Unsettled, a bird lost from the flock --
Keeps flying by itself in the dusk.
Back and forth, it has no resting place,
Night after night, more anguished its cries.
Its shrill sound yearns for the pure and distant --
Coming from afar, how anxiously it flutters!

It chances to find a pine tree growing all apart;
Folding its wings, it has come home at last.
In the gusty wind there is no dense growth;
This canopy alone does not decay.
Having found a perch to roost on,
In a thousand years it will not depart.

-- from Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry, Edited by Wu-chi Liu / Edited by Irving Yucheng Lo

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Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry The Selected Poems of T'ao Ch'ien





Unsettled, a bird