Du Fu: Pounding Clothes

Pounding Clothes

擣 亦
亦 知 戌 不 返
秋 至 轼 清 砧。
已 近 苦 寒 月
况 经 长 别 心。
宁 辞 擣 衣 倦
一 寄 塞 垣 深。
用 尽 闺 中 力
君 听 空 处 音。
Dao Yi

Yi zhi xu bu fan
Qiu zhi shi qing zhen.
Yi jin ku han yue
Kuang jing chang bie xin.

Ning ci dao yi juan
Yi ji sai yuan shen.
Yong jin gui zhong li
Jun ting kong chu yin!


Pounding Clothes

Know by late evening they have not come back
Autumn the time to clean up and clear the pounding blocks.
Already approaching cold and stark moons
Long time ago their departures even more stressful.

No excuse for being tired and weary, pounding and washing the clothes
Send them off to one post far away at a strategic border garrison.
These ladies use all their physical energy to complete this essential task
You can hear their inner emptiness from these outside sounds!

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