Learn Chinese Through Poetry
Read Poetry Through Translation


I put this together mainly for my own enjoyment. Of course, it is also my goal to make a small difference in our attempt to study or appreciate classical Chinese poetry and prose. I assume that my readers are primarily those who learn Chinese as a second language, or those whose mother tongue is not Chinese.

Let me be frank, I am neither a scholar of Chinese poetry nor a translator by profession. When it comes to shi and ci poetry, I am but a self-taught learner and late starter. I did not start writing my first “real” poem until four years into retirement. However, I do have a passion for making the study of classical Chinese poetry (and the Chinese language too) easier and less complicated for bilingual students.

I enjoy the bilingual approach to interpreting and translating classical Chinese poetry. The bilingual approach is actually the tool I used to learn the craft of writing shi and ci poems.

I am the first to admit that my translations are far from being perfect. They are certainly not free from misinterpretations, omissions, errors, and personal biases. I encourage you to review them critically. Further, my translations are intended as "reading aids" only. In other words, each of my translations serves only one purpose: To facilitate reading and understanding the original poem, lyric, or essay.

翻译是我研读古典诗词和学习格律诗词写作的工具。我希望这种「双语助读法」能提高年青一辈阅读和欣赏中国古典诗词的兴趣。我不是诗词学者,也不是翻译专家,译文和注释难免有错误和不妥之处,欢迎指正,但请用真姓名。
--- E. C. Chang


  


紛飛大雪待猴年


大雪紛飛送舊年。

老羊迴避小猴癲。

三天困舍難移步,

兩尺封城怎往前?

幸有芳鄰來助陣,

愧無臂力共揚肩。

不時野鹿圍低柏,*

轆轆飢腸亦可憐!


*低柏: 因有兩尺高雪的幫助,野鹿有機可乘,把我家園裡六棵柏樹的頭部吃個痛快。有一兩棵被弄成頭大頸細的怪樣子。


Greeting the Year of Monkey

In the midst of a blizzard, we bid farewell to the old lunar year.

No old sheep is in sight; so wild the little monkeys appear.

Confined indoor for three days, we have little room to move around.

With two feet of snow in the city, where can we be bound?

So fortunate to have a neighbor who will come to clear our driveway.

I wish I could raise my shoulder and arm to shovel the snow away!

So sad to watch the deer lingering around our "dwarfed" cypress.

I do sympathize with them as they must cope with their hunger stress.


柏樹心聲


葉落林疏我不凋。

天寒地凍尚嬌嬈。

風霜欲擊仍無倒,

冰雪來侵也未消。

徒嘆白棉成兩尺,

何堪野鹿吃三朝。

老頭雖備防身網,

矮了求情請客饒!


Let the Cypress Tree Speak for Itself


Unlike the desolate woods, I do not wither.

In bitterly cold, I still look enchantingly tender.

Wind and frost fail to bring me down.

Assaulted by snow and ice, I am still around.

Nothing the old fellow can do with two feet of snow.

He watches helplessly as the deer eat me three days in a row.

He did use a net to protect my lower body from the deer.

Now dwarfed, I beg for mercy and ask them to stop coming here.


什么是爱?


是岭上的云彩,海洋上的波光;

青春的翅膀自我的升扬。


是醉人的曲调,灵魂的天窗;

孤独的回响暴风雨的避风塘。


是心灵的伴侣,春园里的花香;

人间的希望;梦幻的天堂。

 

没有,生命 就如:无花的玫瑰;

无鱼的溪水;

无星星作伴的月亮;

无红霞衬托的朝阳。


What is Love?

 

Love is the clouds on the mountain peak;

the shining light of waves on the sea;

the youth with two wings;

an ego that keeps rising.

 

Love is an enchanting melody;

the skylight of the soul;

the echoes in loneliness;

a storm haven and shelter.

 

Love is the soul mate of the heart;

the fragrance of spring flowers;

the hope of mortals;

the paradise for our dreams.

 

A life without love would be like

a rose bush that will never bloom;

a stream in which no fish will swim;

a moon with no surrounding stars;

a rising sun with no clouds

         upon which to glow brighter.




哀悼明道廣兄兩首


七絕 


胸懷廣闊道能通。

性直心明帶笑容。

今日突聞君遠去,

有如春院掃秋風。



五絕延伸 


楓紅秋已到,

再變葉凋零。

禽鳥紛離去,

疏林更冷清。


突聞君上路,

踏入不歸程。

想起諧詩句,

悲情稍覺輕。


胸懷皆廣闊,

待友出真誠。

明道知心性,

人如己姓名。


Mourning My Friend Tao K. Ming (1)


Your mind was wide enough for the WAY to go through.

A man of integrity, you often put on a smiling face too.

Suddenly I heard that you are gone forever today,

Feeling like the autumn wind has swept my spring buds away.



Mourning My Friend Tao K. Ming (2)


When maple leaves have turned red, autumn is already here.

Any more changes in color will hasten them to fall and disappear.

Birds and fowls in succession are doomed to leave disorderly.

The thin woods will soon look even more desolate and lonely. 


So surprised to hear that you have left your friends forever.

No one has ever returned from this one-way journey ever.

The thought of your humorous but poetical expression

has somewhat helped to lighten my sorrowful emotion.


So open and spacious were your heart and mind!

To your friends you often were so sincere and kind!

Understanding so well the Truth and the Way of life,

You were the kind of man as your name has implied.


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