Contemporary Chinese Poetry
Music Heard at Late Night
by Lin Huiyin

Yesterday I shared the poetry of Xu Zhimo as he expressed his feelings for Lin Huiyin. This late evening, I'm sharing what Lin Huiyin expressed to Xu Zhimo -- very much tinged with sadness. There is an allusion to the East Asian story of the red thread of destiny and to music:

I could not help blushing,
While silently
Listening to this lovely nocturnal tune.

The music penetrates my heart,
I understand
Its sadness, but how could I respond?

Life had it's pattern fixed long ago,
So weak are
The people's beautiful imaginations! 

Unless there comes one day,
You and I 

Together pull the string of hope.
It must be your fingers 

Gently playing
In this late night, full of sorrow.

From Wikipedia: Lin Huiyin (Chinese: 林徽因, born 林徽音; pinyin: Lín Huīyīn; known as Phyllis Lin or Lin Whei-yin when in the United States; 10 June 1904 – 1 April 1955) was a noted 20th-century Chinese architect and writer. She is known to be the first female architect in modern China and her husband the famed "Father of Modern Chinese Architecture" Liang Sicheng, both of whom worked as founders and faculty in the newly formed Architecture Department of Northeastern University in 1928 and, after 1949, as professors in Tsinghua University in Beijing. Liang and Lin began restoration work on cultural heritage sites of China in the post-imperial Republican Era of China; a passion which she would pursue to the end of her life. The American artist Maya Lin is her niece.

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