詩中有畫,畫中有詩

There is a picture in the poem and a poem in the picture.


Welcome to this bilingual website of Chinese poetry.

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. 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 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.


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

Footprints
Updated periodically

New Poems or New Translations


目錄



初春

初春有感

四時春

臨江仙    老來夢

恨賦     江淹 (南朝)

短歌行      曹操

比較

養生歌

北愛爾蘭風光

船上偶感

悼亡詩 梅堯臣(宋)

雪梅二首(其一) 盧梅坡(宋)

雪梅二首(其二) 盧梅坡(宋)

人生的道路

題臨安邸  (宋) 林升


初春


張暢繁


草坪轉綠鳥重回。

野卉名花陸續開。

黃帽水仙迎紫蕾,

素裝梨樹送紅梅。

 

滿園春色娛雙目,

遍地新枝減百哀。

麗日清明心亦擴,

今天還有故人來。

 

Early Spring

 

Lawns have turned green; birds are returning

Wild and famous flowers of all kinds keep blooming.

One following the other, the yellow daffodils and redbuds put on a show.

Before the white pear blossoms are ready, the red plum flowers begin to fold.

 

The garden is filled with spring colors that brighten my eyes.

New branches come out everywhere to lift my spirit up high.

I feel upbeat as everything under the sun is so bright and charming.

Not to mention that today some old friends will come visiting.

 

 

初春有感


張暢繁


雪積冰封終過去。

薰風吹密疏林。

春花怒放鳥開心。

清波浮水鴨,

兩岸柳垂金。

 

世事無常人在變。

惟君義重情深。

艱辛苦澀總光臨。

冰霜同進退,

風雨共浮沉。

 

Reflections on Early Spring

 

Those days of snow and ice are finally gone.

Warm breezes hasten the new growth of bare trees all around.

Spring flowers are in full bloom; 

Birds happily sing their tune.

Ducks enjoy their free rides in the clear water,

Willows drop their golden threads on the banks of the river. 

 

World affairs are unpredictable;

Human minds are changeable.

But you are always supportive and affectionately kind.

I can count on you to be there even in rough times.

We are willing to walk over frost and ice together.

We are ready to float or sink hand in hand in the stormy water.

 

四時春

張暢繁

溪邊馬過路揚麈。觸目平原一片新。
喜見門前芳草綠,欣聞院後鳥聲頻。
無停歳月添霜鬢,陸續盈虛老此身。
物換星移天定律,開懷便覺四時春。


Spring in My heart

Tr. E.C. Chang

A horse gallops along the brook causing the dust to rise.
Everything in the plain appears refreshing to my eyes.
So pleasant to see that my front lawn has turned green;
So glad to hear birds keep chirping in the backyard again.
Time has transformed my temple hair into frosty white.
Life cycles put my aging body at risk of further decline.
There is very little I can do to change the course of life.
All four seasons are spring to me as long as I feel fine.



臨江仙      老來夢

張暢繁

垂暮尤應䦕視野,
隨緣順應時空。
求知探索慶相逢。
心如飄逸鶴,
開放也從容。

幸福流光君自定,
無須認富稱雄。
平和踏實擴心胸,
人生真若夢,
無夢富仍窮。

An Old Man’s Dream

Tr. E. C. Chang

At old age, you should especially expand your visual field.
Take and accept what your life and the universe have given you.
Learn, explore, and go meeting new friends.
Let your mind be like a soaring crane.
Be at ease, unhurried, and unrestrained.

It is up to you to define what is happiness?
No need to brag about your wealth and greatness.
Be open-minded and carry out realistic goals.
Life may be just like a dream.
But if you have no dream to dream,
you will remain poor even if you own all sorts of things.


恨賦

江淹 南朝


試望平原,蔓草縈骨,拱木斂魂。人生到此,天道寧論。於是僕本恨人, 心驚不已,直念古者,伏恨而死。
至如秦帝按劍,諸侯西馳,削乎天下,同文共規,華山爲城,紫淵爲池。 雄圖既溢,武力未畢。方架黿鼉以爲梁,巡海右以送曰。一旦魂斷,宮車晚出。
若乃趙王既虜,遷於房陵。薄暮心動,昧旦神興。别豔姬與美女,喪金輿 及玉乘。置酒欲飲,悲來填膺。千秋萬歲,爲怨難勝。  
至如李君降北,名辱身冤。拔劍擊柱,弔影慚魂。情往上郡,心留雁門。 裂帛系書,誓還漢恩。朝露溘至,握手何言?
若夫明妃去時,仰天太息。紫台稍遠,關山無極。搖風忽起,日白西匿。 隴雁少飛,代雲寡色。望君王兮何期?終蕪絕兮異域。
至乃敬通見抵,罷歸田里。閉關卻掃,塞門不仕。左對孺人,右顧稚子。 脱略公卿,跌宕文史。齎志沒地,長懷無已。
及夫中散下獄,神氣激颺。濁醪夕引,素琴晨張。秋日蕭索,浮雲無光。 鬱青霞之奇意,入修夜之不暘。
或有孤臣危涕,孽子墜心。遷客海上,流戍隴陰。此人但聞悲風淚起。血 下蔚沾襟;亦複含酸茹歎,銷落湮沉。
若乃騎叠蹟,車屯軌;黄塵匝地,歌吹四起。無不煙斷火絕,閉骨泉里。 已矣哉!
春草暮兮秋風驚,秋風罷兮春草生。綺羅畢兮池館盡,琴瑟滅兮丘壟平。 自古皆有死,莫不飲恨而吞聲。

PDF

江淹 恨賦


On Regret by Jiang Yan

Tr. E. C. Chang

試望平原,蔓草縈骨,拱木斂魂。人生到此,天道寧論!

Look at the plain as far as you can see.
Human bones lie in the midst of tall weeds.
Old trees grow densely into arched shapes.
This surely looks like a ghostly haunted place.
If this turns out to be the way we would die,
Why bothers to talk about the truth of life?

於是僕本恨人, 心驚不已,直念古者,伏恨而死。

I am by nature a sentimental and regretful person.
It saddens me to come to such a location.
I feel bad for those ancients who lost their lives.
They carried with them regrets as they died.

至如秦帝按劍,諸侯西馳,削乎天下,同文共規,華山爲城,紫淵爲池。

When the Emperor of Qin signaled his intention by lifting his sword,
All feudal lords marched westward to advance his course.
After he had defeated his enemies and expanded his territories,
He firmly unified the regional customs and languages.
He designated Purple Abyss to be his pool and Mount Hua his wall.
The Emperor of Qin refers to Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇, 259-210 B. C.) who unified China under the Qin Dynasty.

雄圖既溢,武力未畢。方架黿鼉以爲梁,巡海右以送日。一旦魂斷,宮車晚出。

Although he had fulfilled his ambition,
he did not want to give up his military expansion.
Soon after the installment of exotic beams was done,
he ordered explorations to the sea and bade farewell to the sun.
Alas, when his time came and he eventually died,
the imperial carriages would no longer go out on time!
...... more


短歌行      曹操

對酒當歌,人生幾何?譬如朝露,去日苦多。
慨當以慷,憂思難忘。何以解憂?唯有杜康。
青青子衿,悠悠我心。但為君故,沉吟至今。
呦呦鹿鳴,食野之苹。我有嘉賓,鼓瑟吹笙。
明明如月,何時可掇?憂從中來,不可斷絕。
越陌度阡,枉用相存。契闊談讌,心念舊恩。
月明星稀,烏鵲南飛。繞樹三匝,何枝可依?
山不厭高,海不厭深。周公吐哺,天下歸心。


The Short Song

Cao Cao (155-220)
Tr. E. C. Chang

In front of the wine, I sing a song.
A lifetime really is not that long.
Life is like the dew before the rising sun.
Bygone days did not bring me much fun.

Sing my heart out when my emotion overwhelms me.
Unpleasant memories keep reminding me.
How can I get rid of this anxious feeling?
Get some Dukeng wine and start drinking.

You are the talented ones in your prime.
I think of you all the time.
For you, I am willing to bow.
I event quietly chant my poem until now.

In the wilds, the deer to each other cry.
They look for food to reduce their hunger drive.
My distinguished guests will come for dinner.
I will entertain them with a flute, a drum, and a zither.

The bright moon shines all around.
But how and when can I take it down?
Dreadful thoughts come naturally.
They cannot be stopped deliberately!

You traveled through the rugged roads in your journey.
I surely appreciate your sacrifice and your company.
How joyful we are to chat and eat during our reunion?
I am grateful to you for your help on several occasions.

The moon is so bright with a few stars around.
Some crows and magpies fly southbound.
They circle around the same tree thrice.
Which branch do they perch for the night?

No mountain is too steep and tall.
No sea is too deep for my cause.
Learn from Master Zhou for valuing all talents.
Then people will come to my corner with enthusiasm.

比較

張暢繁

你愛江湖我戀家。無須較量酒和茶。
清池雅屋君居上,偉略雄才汝可誇。
十載車身難掩舊,半箱衣物少無瑕。
三生有幸能相會,請到茅廬賞野花。

Comparison

Tr. E. C. Chang

Just as I like to stay home you love to see lakes and rivers.
No need to find out who is the best wine or tea drinker?
Your beautiful pool and elegant house are beyond compare.
Your astuteness and talents put you in a different sphere.
The dents on my ten-year-old car are clearly noticeable.
Clothes in half of my drawers are mostly abandonable.
We are so fortunate in life to have the chance meeting each other.
So come to my humble house and look at the wild flowers.


養生歌

張暢繁

不老痴人夢﹐
壽命可延伸。
天生人各異﹐
苦樂在乎人。
積怨催人老﹐
抑鬱會傷神。

養生無妙藥﹐
動體與寧心。
氣功調氣息﹐
甩手靜心靈。
步行多好處﹐
動靜要平衡。

飲食宜清淡﹐
脂糖比惡鄰。
起床先渴水﹐
腸通毒也清。
綠茶真有益﹐
煙酒總傷身。

嫉妒燃心火﹐
寬恕去仇情。
沮喪緣心慮﹐
自責是原因
對人能讓步﹐
心理便能平。

幽默增年歲﹐
冷淡令人憎。
日常多用腦﹐
痴獃遠離君。
何須太偏激﹐
心健出真誠。

人生無直路﹐
處處可通行。
身如山澗水﹐
心似柏松青。
祝君常快樂﹐
長壽又年輕。

PDF Version

Song of Healthy Living
Tr. E. C. Chang


To live forever is but a fool’s dream.
To extend years in life is not as hard as it may seem.
Each person is born with different physical and mental endowments.
It is up to you to perceive each event as a blessing or a misfortune.
Holding grudges all the time hastens the pace of aging.
Feeling despondent can impact your body functioning.

There is no panacea for living healthier and longer.
But you can move your body and calm your mind together.
Qigong exercise can help keep your breathing slow and long.
The hand-swinging exercise can help your mind calm itself down.
The benefits of walking are too numerous to mention.
Try to balance your body with activities and relaxation.

Replace fatty and oily foods with less greasy dishes on your dining table.
Treat foods loaded with sugar as the ferocious animal in your neighbor’s stable.
First drink a glass of water when you get up in the morning.
Keep your intestines free from toxins through water-drinking.
Drinking green tea regularly can be beneficial to your health.
Drinking alcohol, like smoking cigarette, can be harmful as well.

Jealousy keeps your heart burning every day.
Forgiveness can keep revengeful feelings away.
Depression is often resulted from chronically mental fatigue.
It may be caused by repeatedly blaming oneself or feeling guilty.
If you can take a step back toward the other person,
You can neutralize your anger aroused from agitation.

You can add years to your life with a sense of humor.
Indifferent attitudes often keep people away from your quarter.
Keep yourself mentally active every day,
You may actually scare Alzheimer’s away.
Don’t be stubbornly biased or ideologically extreme.
A healthy mind rises by being sincere and genuine.

There is no straight road in your life journey.
But you can always move forward by crossing the bridge.
May your body be like the ever-flowing stream of water!
May your mind be like the green cypress and pine forever!
May you be happy all the time!
May you continue to look young and healthy for a very long time!


北愛爾蘭風光

張暢繁

幅幅丹青入眼簾。清黃雅綠色新鮮。
迎風矮樹分坡地,觸目牛羊樂草田。
農舎稀疏人少見,海雲變幻景連綿。
奇岩疊石娛雙老,處處風光出自然。


Landscapes of Northern Ireland

Scenes before our eyes are like painting upon painting.
Pure yellow and elegant green look so vivid and refreshing.
Small trees in the breeze are the dividers of the slanting hillside.
Everywhere cows and sheep are eating or having a good time.
Outside the scattered farmhouses few can be seen working.
Along the coastline beautiful scenes and clouds keep changing.
Unusual rocks in the Grand Causeway are a feast to our eyes.
From place to place we can see landscapes so natural and bright.




船上偶感

張暢繁

人生若是一條船。早晚航行總遇煙。
風靜需防潮暗湧,月明應顧浪高旋。
同舟共濟消災難,假意囂張少俊賢。
萬兩金銀誰可帶?黃泉不用一文錢。

Reflection on a Cruise Ship

If life is just like a ship cruising in the ocean or sea,
Sooner or later you will face a scenario so foggy to see.
Be prepared for the undercurrent when the wind quiets down.
In moonlit night watch for the surging waves all around.
Mutual concerns among passenger lessen the impact of a disaster.
Persons with insincere and arrogant behaviors are rarely wise advisers.
Who can bring with him a thousand gold and silver coins when he dies?
Remember, in the nether world, you don’t have to spend a dime.


悼亡詩

梅堯臣(宋)

結發為夫婦,於今十七年。
相看猶不足,何況是長捐。
我鬢已多白,此身寧久全。
終當與同穴,未死淚漣漣。

Mourning My Wife

Mei Yao Chen (Song Dynasty)
tr. E. C. Chang

Through marriage you had become my dear wife.
For seventeen years you were the best part of my life.
It was still so short a time to just look at each other.
Not to mention that we are now separated forever.
My hair at the temples has largely turned white.
How long can this body alone continue to survive?
I will eventually be buried with you in the same resting place.
Meanwhile how can I stop my tears pouring down my face?


雪梅二首(其一)


盧梅坡(宋)


梅雪爭春未肯降﹐
騷人擱筆費評章。
梅須遜雪三分白﹐
雪卻輸梅一段香。

Snow and Plum Blossom: First of Two Poems

by Lu Mei Po (song Dynasty)
tr. E. c. Chang

Plum blossom and snow are racing unyieldingly for the first show in spring.
The poet puts down his pen as he cannot determine which of the two is wining?
In whiteness, snow is ahead of plum blossom by thirty percent.
But plum blossom beats snow equally in fragrance and scent.


雪梅二首(其二)

盧梅坡(宋)

有梅無雪不精神﹐
有雪無詩俗了人。
日暮詩成天又雪﹐
與梅并作十分春。

Snow and Plum Blossom: Second of Two Poems

by Lu Mei Po (song Dynasty)
tr. E. c. Chang

Without snow plum blossom alone cannot put on a spirited show.
A poet reveals his shallowness when he writes no poem for the snow.
A dusk, I have finally come up with a poem while it is still snowing.
With these three in place, spring has now become even more exciting.


人生的道路

張暢繁

只要你是活在世上的人,
你必須走自己的人生路程。
何時何地開始你不能作主。
何時結朿你也不能決定。

有些人生下來就行好運,
一開始就有好行的途徑。
有些人生不逢辰,
一開始就要歷盡艱辛。

差不多每一個人
都經歷過風風雨雨、閃電雷嗚。
中途會有不少冰凝雪結。
浪濤洶湧會阻礙你的前進。
但同時也有看不完的花開花落 ,
聼不盡的鳥叫蟲聲。

人生道路上的每一個行人,
不能全依靠他的好運。
有人從康莊的道路中走入绝境;
也有人從困境中見到柳暗花明。

満載金銀不能帶給你快樂;
縱使你有萬頃良田也只能留給後人。
快樂的來源是精神的豐盛,
虛懷若谷和助人為樂的精神。

人生的路程是多麼短暫!
很快便過了大半生!
不要自怨自艾!
不要大叫不平!
不管你是才高八斗,不管你目不識丁,
不要做害人利己的事情。

人生最大的財富不是金銀財寶。
最大的財富是精神快樂、身體健康。
願你有一個美麗而豐滿的人生。
願你健康長壽、每天都樂而忘形!


The Road of Life

Tr.  E. C. Chang

In this world, as long as you are a living person,
You must walk on your own road of life to its destination.
When and where to begin your journey you can have no say.
Nor do you know in advance when will be your final day.

Some people were lucky to have been born in a rich family.
There is a flat and broad road for them to start their journey.
Some were born in the wrong time or in a very poor family.
They must begin their journey facing hardship and adversity.

Few people have not faced some stormy times in life.
Lightening and thundering may come and go at times.
In your journey, you may face ice and snow.
Surging waves may slow you down on the road.
But beautiful flowers will keep blooming for you.
The sound of birds and insects will accompany you.

On the road of life, no pedestrian
can just rely upon his good fortune.
Some get lost on the brightened highway and see the dead end.
Others get out of the narrow path and walk into the beautiful plain.

Tons of gold and silver cannot bring you happiness forever.
You cannot bring a thousand acres of land with you when your time is over.
Long-lasting happiness comes from the richness of your soul.
So be compassionate, helpful, simple, and humble.

The journey of life is so short and it will not continue forever.
Before you know it, your prime is gone and you will soon be a senior.
Don't complain and compare!
Don't yell out loud "it is not fair!"
It doesn't matter whether you are extremely talented or ignorant,
Don’t deliberately hurt other persons for some selfish reasons.

The greatest asset in life is not the accumulated wealth.
It is your spiritual happiness and your physical and mental health.
Wishing you a beautiful and rich life!
Let happiness and good health be with you all the time!



人生的道路

The Road of Life

只要你是活在世上的人,
你必須走自己的人生路程。

In this world, as long as you are a living person,
You must walk on your own road of life to its destination.

何時何地開始你不能作主。
何時結朿你也不能決定。

When and where to begin your journey you can have no say.
Nor do you know in advance when will be your final day.

有些人生下來就行好運,
一開始就有好行的途徑。

Some people were lucky to have been born in a rich family.
There is a flat and broad road for them to start their journey.

有些人生不逢辰,
一開始就要歷盡艱辛。

Some were born in the wrong time or in a very poor family.
They must begin their journey facing hardship and adversity.

差不多每一個人
都經歷過風風雨雨、閃電雷嗚。

Few people have not faced some stormy times in life.
Lightening and thundering may come and go at times.

中途會有不少冰凝雪結。
浪濤洶湧會阻礙你的前進。

In your journey, you may face ice and snow.
Surging waves may slow you down on the road.

但同時也有看不完的花開花落 ,
聼不盡的鳥叫蟲聲。

But beautiful flowers will keep blooming for you.
The sound of birds and insects will accompany you.

有人從康莊的道路中走入绝境;
也有人從困境中見到柳暗花明。

Some get lost on the brightened highway and see the dead end.
Others get out of the narrow path and walk into the beautiful plain.

満載金銀不能帶給你快樂;
縱使你有萬頃良田也只能留給後人。

Tons of gold and silver cannot bring you happiness forever.
You cannot bring a thousand acres of land with you when your time is over.


快樂的來源是精神的豐盛,
虛懷若谷和助人為樂的精神。

Long-lasting happiness comes from the richness of your soul.
So be compassionate, helpful, simple, and humble.

人生的路程是多麼短暫!
很快便過了大半生!

The journey of life is so short and it will not continue forever.
Before you know it, your prime is gone and you will soon be a senior.

不要自怨自艾!
不要大叫不平!

Don't complain and compare!
Don't yell out loud "it is not fair!"

不管你是才高八斗,不管你目不識丁,
不要做害人利己的事情。

It doesn't matter whether you are extremely talented or ignorant,
Don’t deliberately hurt other persons for some selfish reasons.

人生最大的財富不是金銀財寶。
最大的財富是精神快樂、身體健康。

The greatest asset in life is not the accumulated wealth.
It is your spiritual happiness and your physical and mental health.

願你有一個美麗而豐滿的人生。
願你健康長壽、每天都樂而忘形!

Wishing you a beautiful and rich life!
Let happiness and good health be with you all the time!

PDF version

題臨安邸

(宋)林升 (1106-1170)

山外青山樓外樓。
西湖歌舞幾時休。
暖風熏得遊人醉,
直把杭州作汴州。


Inscribing on the Wall of a Hotel in Lin An

Lin Sheng (1106-1170)

Song Dynasty

Tr. E. C. Chang

M
ansions rise above mansions; green hills rise beyond green hills.
When will the never-ending dancing and singing at West Lake be still?
In the spring breeze tourists are too busy seeking pleasures in Hanzou.
Alas, they have literally forgotten their former capital city Bianzhou.














Contact: ecfchang@poetry-chinese.com