Parting and Reunion Poems with English Translation by E. C. Chang
Since we parted last time,
half of our life has gone by.
Flowers then were dazzling and bright;
willows danced from side to side.
Holding hands at the water front,
we faced a sea and sky wide open.
Later, we each ended up in a faraway place.
Eventually we lost contact without a trace.
Then we met abroad with long stories to share.
Parting again after having just reunited
can make tears so easy to shed.
So hurried is the meeting and parting time.
We lament that sunset has arrived.
Before we part, we will have only
until daybreak to laugh and cry.
Visiting an Old Friend
Spring has returned;
everywhere birds either fly or jump.
Where is the man I’ve come to see?
I Knocked at the front door three times,
but no one comes to greet me.
A yellow dog runs from the other side.
An old man immerses himself in the bonsai.
Last time when we bade farewell to each other,
we were growing up and young at heart.
Now when we see each other again, we both
are old men with hair in gray color.
For the next two days
we will talk about the past in the backyard.
Let’s drink to the heart’s content before
we put down the jar.
The red sun descended behind
the western hill.
We sit in the windy pavilion feeling
a little evening chill.
The cool moon reflects
its light in the pool.
Over the table, green tea
is constantly poured.
Your eyebrows can't hide
the sadness of parting.
In a low voice, you reveal
your actual feeling.
Tomorrow you will embark
on a long journey.
I will drive you a short distance
before returning to my residence.
Reunion in Orlando
Flowers were blooming
when we parted.
Snow covered the branches
when we saw each other again
many years later.
Human affairs are so difficult to predict.
Time moves on without
taking a pause for you and me.
We will forever remember
tonight’s reunion dinner.
And we will never forget
the fun times of the past.
Tomorrow each of us
will go our own way.
When will we meet again?
We don’t have an answer.
Zhou Xiang's descendents
had high aspirations and ambitions.
They left home to study abroad
by crossing the ocean.
These talented youngsters in the end
have all turned out to be great ones.
As scholars and professionals,
they enjoy worldwide recognition.
Separated for so long a time,
they still hold their kinship dear.
Reunited for three days,
they were so overjoyed to be here.
Now with gray hair, they had many
funny childhood stories to tell.
As for their Juren* grandfather's writings,
how could they ever forget?
*Juren was a successful candidate in the former civil service examination system.