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Poetry Magnum Opus

overnight at the governor's mansion (trans.)


dedalus
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7-character, regular verse:
清秋幕府井梧寒, 獨宿江城蠟炬殘。
永夜角聲悲自語, 中天月色好誰看?
風塵荏苒音書絕, 關塞蕭條行陸難。
已忍伶俜十年事, 強移棲息一枝安。
Clear and cold is this autumn night with parasol trees in the courtyard.
Alone in this river town, I watch the flame of a guttering candle.
From the dark outside comes the plaintive note of a bugle,
and though the moon is in mid-heaven, is there no-one to share with me?
My messengers are scattered amid clouds of rain and sand
and the city gates are closed to the traveller: high mountains are walls in my way.
I, who have borne the last ten years of pitiable existence,
find here a perch, a little branch, I feel safe for the night.
(a non-precise rather cavalier translation which needs an extra line co contain the limpid Chinese, but the essence is there.)
Du Fu, 712-770

 

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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  • 2 weeks later...

How lovely, Brendan. I don't want this to drop down and get lost on the page, so I'll move it to the translations forum where that's less likely to happen.

 

Tony

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

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