Friday, December 19, 2008

I've finally gotten far enough with my Chinese to attempt a (very poor) translation of some easy poetry. Of necessity, this is a loose paraphrase, since the literal translation would be ungrammatical, lacking poetry, and incomprehensible.

This is the saddest thing to me:
Not waking to find you gone,
After a night spent
Composing poems on these walls,
But there on the table to see
Your wine cup, still half-full.

--Xia Zhou Yu, c. 900?


Lia Mey said...

Cool! Lovely verses as well :)

Peculiar said...

Nothing to say but "Excellent!"

Odious said...

This one stood out for me (since poems celebrating inebriety are thick on the ground in Chinese lit) for being the very first allusion I caught on my own: one of the more decent, and hence doomed, characters in Three Kingdoms, Kong Rong (a relation of the celebrated Mr. Kong), is fond of saying, "Let the house be full of friends and the cups be full of wine!"