Laolao Pavilion (after Li Po)



Another attempt at adapting Li Po. A note on stated “at this time, the breaking of a willow twig was part of formal leave-taking.”


Laolao Pavilion (after Li Po)

Where do more hearts break under heaven?
This sad pavilion, where visitors part,
the spring wind whispers bitter goodbyes
and willow twigs never mend.

Transliteration from

Heaven below damage heart place
Laolao see off visitor pavilion
Spring wind know parting sorrow
Not send willow twig green.



First posted here in June 2014.

14 thoughts on “Laolao Pavilion (after Li Po)

  1. This sad pavilion where visitors part seems to be a venue where everyone feels some sense of worry when about to pass through because of the parting moments.. Sometimes one may wish never to part when the other is the centre of attraction.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Robert, yes – your rendering is far more “graspable”. I’m intrigued by the ritual breaking of a willow twig as symbol of parting – recognition that even if those leaving come together again later, they will both be to some degree changed, different people than they are at this parting. Everything always in transition … and indeed willow twigs do not mend – rather, become some other bits of matter. Wondering – significance to the willow, or would that just be the prevalent twig available?

    Liked by 1 person

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