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 ~


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The 300 Tang Dynasty Poems, #44: A Song of a Pure Hearted Girl

One of the worlds' literary treasures is an anthology of the greatest poems of the Tang Dynasty of China. The Tang Dynasty was a high water mark in culture in ancient China and poetry was especially esteemed. The 300 Tang Dynasty Poems may be found here. Below is poem #44: A Song of a Pure Hearted Girl.



044
Meng Jiao
A SONG OF A PURE-HEARTED GIRL

Lakka-trees ripen two by two
And mandarin-ducks die side by side.
If a true-hearted girl will love only her husband,
In a life as faithfully lived as theirs,
What troubling wave can arrive to vex
A spirit like water in a timeless well?

2 comments:

Paul said...

Beautifully translated, though the key message in the translation is quite different from the original. The original praised and glorified " women who died in defence of her honour chastity or virginity", with the objective of advocating (and therefore condemning [or even persecuting!] those who did otherwise) young women not to remarry, for the rest of their lives, after the unfortunate premature death of their husband. Needless to say, no such advice/directive was given the male in ancient China!

Rick said...

I guess there are many translations of the 300 Tang Dynasty Poems. I use the one I use for this blog, because it's easily and widely available.

I really like reading different translations of the same piece side by side.