In the Palace
What rigorous calm! What almost holy silence!
All the doors are shut, and the beds of flowers
are giving out scent; discreetly, of course…
Two women that lean against each other, stand to
the balustrade of red marble on the edge of the terrace.
One of them wishes to speak, to confide to her
friend the secret sorrow that is agonizing her heart.
She throws an anxious glance at the motionless leaves
and because of a paroquet with iridescent wings
that perches on a branch, she sighs and is silent.
From the Chinese of Tu-Sin-Yu
Rendered by Powys Mathers