The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Friday, February 29, 2008

Classical Chinese


Having shoveled the snow... AGAIN, my thoughts of course turn to Classical Chinese. While I can read about 500 Kanji, Chinese, especially in it's classical form, may as well be Greek to me.
If you click on the title of this post, you'll be directed to a website entitled "Classical Chinese." There, the owner translates and comments on Classical Chinese literature that he has translated. It looks to be truly a work of love. Please pay a visit.

Below is a small excerpt, from Zhuang Zi (Chuang Tzu).

- The Snow Shoveling Daoist

Butterfly dream

昔者莊周夢為胡蝶,栩栩然胡蝶也。自喻適志與!不知周也。俄然覺,則蘧蘧然周也。不知周之夢為胡蝶與,胡蝶之夢為周與?周與胡蝶,則必有分矣。此之謂物化

Long ago, Zhuang Zhou dreamt he was a butterfly. He fluttered gaily, in a butterfly way, all to his pleasure, following his whims ! He did not know Zhou. Suddenly he woke up, and at once was Zhou again. But he did not know whether he was Zhou dreaming he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming it was Zhou. Yet, between Zhou and the butterfly, a distinction must be made. This is called the transformation of things.

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