Du Fu: Facing the Snow (From Classical Chinese)

This poem was written under siege. It is late in 756. The Tang government had failed in an attempt to recapture Chang'an from the An Lushan rebels. Du Fu, whom the rebels are holding prisoner there, is now faced with the possibility that he might never get out. 

Facing the Snow
By Du Fu
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Above the battlefield many a fresh ghost wails
 Sunk in his sorrow one lone old man chants
Toward the twilight clouds in upheaval founder
 In blowback winds driven snowblasts dance
The ladle lies useless green of rice-wine is drained
 The coal stove remains I imagine red fire there
No news gets through from anywhere this winter
 In sorrow I sit scrawling words in thin air

The Original:

對雪    
杜甫    

戰哭多新鬼,
愁吟獨老翁。
亂雲低薄暮,
急雪舞回風。
瓢棄尊無綠,
爐存火似紅。
數州消息斷,
愁坐正書空。

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