Translation from English

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Chinese Poems Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Poems Found in Translation: “Li Bai: Seeing a Friend Off (From Chinese)” plus 1 more

Link to Poems Found in Translation

Posted: 09 Aug 2016 07:49 AM PDT
Li Bai wrote this poem in 754 while saying goodbye to a good friend in Xuanzheng. The Shuiyang River still encircles what remains of the city's east wall.

Seeing a Friend Off
By Li Bai
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Beyond the north wall  dark green mountains stretch  
 Round the east city  the clear white river flows1
Once we two  have parted in this place
 Lone tumbleweed ã€€has thousands of miles to blow
A drifting cloud: the mind of a traveler     ã€€
 Sinking sun: the mood of old friends going
We wave our hands taking leave from here 
 Our hesitant horses ã€€in parting neigh and moan

1- Chinese cities were usually protected by two sets of walls: an inner one, made of stone, and an outer rampart made of rammed earth. Kept between these two was enough farmland to keep the town supplied with food in the event of a siege. It was customary for friends to say their goodbyes at the outer rampart.

The Original:

Han Characters 

送友人  ã€€

孤蓬萬里征. ã€€ã€€
Medieval Chinese 

sùng1b ghóu3b nyen3b
lí3d beik2a

tsheing4 sran2b ghweing2a pek1 kwak1     
beik2a sywí3c nyàu3 tung1b dzyeing3b
tshí3b drì3c et3by ghwi3bx bat3bx
kuo1 bung1b màn3a lí3d tsyeing3b
bou3b ghwen3a you3b tsí3d Ã¬3d
lak1 nyet3b kùo1 nyen3b dzeing3b
hwi3a syóu3b dzì3c tsi3d khùo3b
sau4 sau4 pan2a má2 meing3a
Modern Chinese 

Sòng yǒurén  

Qīngshān héng běi guō,  
Báishuǐ rào dōngchéng,  
Cǐdì yī wéi bié,  
Gū péng wàn lǐ zhēng;  
Fúyún yóuzǐ yì,  
Luòrì gùrén qíng,  
Huīshǒu zì zī qù,  
Xiāoxiāo bān mǎmíng.  
Posted: 09 Aug 2016 07:46 AM PDT
Gazing on the Ancient Ruins at Yue 
By Li Bai
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

The king of Yue who conquered Wu returned in a parade
His noble men at arms came home robed in rich brocade
Ladies in waiting numerous as flowers filled the Spring Palace
Where now there are only partridges that take to the air and fade

The Original: