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Tian Jing Sha - Autumn Thoughts

posted 3 Dec 2017, 16:36 by Jim Sheng
Ma Zhiyuan's (1260-1364 马致远) sanqu (散曲) poem "Autumn Thoughts" (秋思), composed to the metric pattern Tianjingsha (天淨沙), uses ten images in twenty-two monosyllables to preamble a state of emotion, and is considered as the masterpiece in Chinese poetry to convey the typical Chinese literati's melancholy during late autumn:

《天淨沙 - 秋思》
1  枯藤老樹昏鴉
2  小橋流水人家
3  古道西風瘦馬
4  夕陽西下
5  斷腸人在天涯

Autumn Thoughts
1. A withered vine, an ancient tree, crows at dusk
2.  A little bridge, a flowing stream, some huts
3. An old road, wind out of the west, an emaciated horse
 4.5. On the horizon at sunset is a heart-broken man. (Wikipedia)

Tian Jing Sha (Heavenly Pure Sand) -- Autumn Thoughts

1  An old tree, dried vines entwined, by ev’ning crows come roosting;
2  O’er a small bridge, by a running stream, homes of people nestling.
3  On an old road, in the autumn wind, a scrawny horse keeps trudging.
4  The sun, slanting, to the west, setting ---
5  Heart-torn, lovelorn, the wanderer, to the verge of the sky a-roaming.