Thick Moss of Unerasable Longing

J.P Seaton
Bright Moon, White Clouds: Selected Poems of Li Po

from “Two Ballads of Chiang-an”

By the gate, the footprints that you left:
each one grows green with moss,
so deep I cannot sweep them.

Arthur Waley makes much of a repeated “m” sound and so the moss persists:

In front of the door, the tracks you once made
One by one have been covered by green moss—
Moss so thick that I cannot sweep it away,

Interesting, in one the moss cannot be swept away and in the other, the footprints.

The crib:

[door] [front] [slow] [travel] [footprint]
[one] [one] [grow] [green] [moss]
[moss] [deep] [not] [can] [sweep]

And so we want to combine Seaton and Waley:

By the front door, your footprints
one by one grown green with moss–
moss so deep I cannot sweep away

And so for day 3025

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