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Poetry Magnum Opus

My Picks of Chinese Poems


worm
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秋月 (程颢)

 

清溪流过碧山头,

空水澄鲜一色秋;

隔断红尘三十里,

白云红叶两悠悠。

 

Autumn Moon

by Cheng Hao

 

Over green hills a limpid brook flows

Sky mirrored in the water of autumn hue

Away from the distant earthly world

Maple leaves and velvet clouds leisurely float

 

---translated by worm, Nov6,2009

 

The Autumn Moon, a seven-character-'cutshorts' (jue ju), was composed by an ancient Chinese poet called Chen Hao (1032--1085), a philosopher of Northern Song Dynasty. No line of the poem touches the autumn moon, but it shines every line.

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The poem is very lovely, especially the part about the distant earthly world and the mention of maple leaves. And you are right, while autumn moon is not specifically mentioned in the poem itself, the inference is certainly there.

 

I know very little about Asian poetry, but we have several knowledgeable members on this site. I'm glad you've joined their ranks. And thanks for sharing this fine translation. I myself love the translation of Du Mu's "Parting Gift" found in THIS topic.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Thanks Tony for your comment! it's lovely.

 

I too am very glad to meet so many poets in this site. I've been charmed by the warm atmosphere and all fine works i read. Yes i know Lake is also from my culture. the graciousness in her poems and the openesss in her mind impress me most. As time goes by i will know more poets in PMO and will be very happy to join you as a humble learner.

 

Another thanks to you for sharing Du Mu's Parting Gift. I love it dearly.

 

worm

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清明--杜 牧

 

清明时节雨纷纷

路上行人欲断魂

借问酒家何处有

牧童遥指杏花村

 

qing ming

by Du Mu

 

qing ming shi jie yu fen fen

lu shang xing ren yu duan hun

jie wen jiu jia he chu you

mu tong yao zhi xing hua chun

 

Tomb-sweeping Day

by Du Mu

 

On a drizzling

Tomb-sweeping Day.

 

heartrending goers

stagger on their way

asking a cowboy

where’s a wine bar

 

To a village

in apricot flowers

the boy points afar

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A lovely translation of DU Mu, worm. It's an interesting concept, this "tomb-sweeping day." I like how, in the poem, the ones who dwell in the land of the living shift their focus from a reflective, quasi-spiritual task to something a bit more mundane: a trip to the bar. Thanks for sharing the poem and your translation of it here.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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  • 4 months later...

I would love to have more detail/insight into how you translated this. Is there another meaning in Chinese to what you call "earthly". I ask because earthly is somewhat synonymous w/ " of the worls", wherefore the phrase "earthly word" must be suspected.

 

And then you say "cut-short" having 17 characters but I seem to count more inthe non-visible-for-detail rendition in what I presume is the Chinese original.

 

Being a linguist I try to be as informed as I possibly can on how languages work.

Edited by waxwings
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