This is the fourth in a series of poems (1, 2, 3) I’ve appropriated from the Chinese via literal translations (which can be found below each poem) by Andrew Griffin—all liberties taken with them must be blamed on me, not on Griffin.
for Emily Dickinson
Living a quiet and simple life, dressed
in raw silk, pure and white,
alone in her distant valley—waiting
for the moon to chance upon her,
carry across forever rumours of scent
falling around her like a shadow—
she arranges her petals into elegant
beauty, precise as a poem.
幽 兰 secluded orchid
淡泊宁静素洁衣 [living simply tranquil raw white silk pure clothes]
空谷幽兰倚月奇 [empty valley remote orchid relies on moon miracle]
流转暗香飘迹远 [circulate dark/obscure fragrance float trace/mark distant]
娉婷秀逸顿生姿 [graceful woman (literary) elegant outstanding arrange grow beauty]