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Translator's Note from Jeffrey Yang

In 2004, Jeffrey Yang published "Poem to the Tune 'Pure Peace'" as part of a series of poems from ancient China that appeared in Words without Borders. Below, you'll find his explanation as to why there isn't a similar series from English-speaking authors, and his reasons for placing spaces between the translated words.

. . . [A]s music and poetry have yet to be part of our standard education, and as the Chinese written language is the only language in the world that is the same today as it was three thousand years ago. . . . The English translations emulate the overall rectangular fields (or seals) of the Chinese poems and retain the same number of lines. White space, as in many poems, serve as punctuation, breath, pause, degrees of rest . . . The overarching hope was to convey some of the music and precision of the Chinese in English.