Vernacular Poems with English Translation by E. C. Chang
What Is Love?
Love is the clouds on the mountain peak;
the shining light of waves on the sea;
the youth with two wings;
an ego that keeps rising.
Love is an enchanting melody;
the skylight of the soul;
the echoes in loneliness;
a storm haven and shelter.
Love is the soul mate of the heart;
the fragrance of spring flowers;
the hope of mortals;
the paradise for our dreams.
A life without love would be like
a rose bush that will never bloom;
a stream in which no fish will swim;
a moon with no surrounding stars;
a rising sun with no clouds
upon which to glow brighter.
它是岭上的云彩，海洋上的波光；青春的翅膀; 自我的升扬。 它是醉人的曲调，灵魂的天窗；孤独的回响; 暴风雨的避风塘。它是心灵的伴侣，春园里的花香；人间的希望；梦幻的天堂。 没有它，生命就如无花的玫瑰；无鱼的溪水；无星星作伴的月亮；无红霞衬托的朝阳。
Parting with an Old Friend
For several days, my old pal and I spent
time together in Hong Kong.
For sightseeing, he accompanied me all day long.
For gourmet food, we went to the
famous Boat Restaurant.
We climbed the Taiping Mountain to
watch the floating boats.
Over there, we enjoyed looking at building
after building towering to the sky.
In joyful times, we often complain
that the day is too short.
In heart-to-heart conversation, we often feel
that we are running out of time to talk.
Three days had passed, and it was time
for us to part.
He looked pale and thin.
He knew that, with a terminal disease,
He might not see me again.
He gave me a pair of paper chickens
as a souvenir.
He asked me not to worry when his time was near.
We held hands tightly in the street
fighting our tears.
I watched his car disappear from my view.
For a long while I didn’t move my feet.
Then, I felt a sense of parting sorrow
rising from my heart as I stood still.
I Had a Dream
I dreamed of a dragon flying up to the sky.
It brought a seasonable rain, which
turned the dead woods back to life.
It also turned the withered flowers
into charmingly red flowers.
I dreamed of a blowing wind.
It drove away the polluted air
and made it clean.
It dispelled hatred between races;
it cleaned up ignorance and poverty.
I dreamed of a marvelous doctor, who
specialized in treating rare diseases.
He turned a mute girl into a good singer;
a dumb boy into a genius.
I dreamed of a rainbow that would beautify
the great earth and sky.
The human heart would be free from evil thoughts;
the personality would only be filled with
tolerance and love.
Ah, if the world were as perfect as in my dream,
only joy without pain, then things
in the human world would not be
changing and varying.
Sending a Snow Picture through Email
My side and your side of the sky are separated by
ten thousand miles of waves and tides.
We don’t have ripe rambutan, mangoes and durians.
When the moisture meets with the winter cold,
white wadding all over the sky will blow.
Thin gauze hangs over the tips of trees; white powders, layer upon layer,
cover the garden and courtyard.
The eaves look shining and twinkling.
Both the young and the old have fun with the snow.
We all take turn and ride on the slide.
With the email, I attach the snow scene
to share with you the fun from our side.
The Song of Misery
You have walked through the rugged roads.
You have faced the elements of wind,
rain, frost, and snow.
You have endured cold and hunger.
You have learned how inconstant
human relations are.
Emotionally you have been hurt very badly.
You have suffered from failures and setbacks.
Where is the sea of tranquility?
Where is the level and easy thoroughfare?
Roads can be short or long, circular or straight.
Similarly, in life we walk the road we have to face.
Without summer’s heat and winter’s cold,
could there be full blossoms in spring?
Would there be rippling rice and wheat fields
without strong winds and rains?
If authors have not faced many hardships,
how could they have created immortal pieces?
After a dark night, the sun will always
come out at daybreak.
The seed of success can be found in defeat.
Immense human power can be drawn from sufferings and pain.
When your mind is calm, a thoroughfare is
what you will see.
When your mind is open and broad, you will see
the peaceful and tranquil sea.
Don’t put yourself down!
Don’t be discouraged!
Brother Square Hole*
Brother Square Hole,
Brother Square Hole.
Who would not fall in love with you?
In the old days, you were heavier and rounder.
Today you are so much lighter.
For you, how many people have turned their relatives into enemies?
How many women have lost their souls?
How many men have fought for name recognition?
In the desolate mountain or in the isolated island,
you would become useless and nothing.
Brother Square Hole,
Brother Square Hole,
you can bring us gourmet food and beautiful clothes.
But you cannot bring us happiness and longevity.
You can make people indulge in satisfying their desires,
but you cannot bring true love and honesty.
*Some people in ancient China referred to money as Brother Square Hole.