Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Su Qian: Entering a Picture

Su Qian: Entering a Picture




  Entering a Picture
            by Su Qian  tr. Fan Jinghua
Imagine a possible way by which I too might punch a tiger
to death, with bare hands, not drunken, and without risking the Jingyang Ridge

I might run into Wu Song and greet him as Brother, my hands clasped,
falling into him but showing no blush on my face

We would have a hearty talk down the way, my words obscure
In his eyes a peach flower, in my mind a fierce tiger

Another Version
  Into a Picture
            by Su Qian  tr. Fan Jinghua
Imagine a possible way to kill a tiger,
With a sober mind and two hands only, not even on the road to the Jingyang Ridge;

So I ran into Wu Song, and held fists to greet him as Brother,
And I adored him, no blush on my face;

We had a hearty talk along the winding road,
A peach flower in his eyes, a valiant tiger in my mind.

Wu Song was a legendary hero from Chinese classic novel Outlaws of the Marsh, who reportedly punched a tiger to death at the Jingyang Ridge with bare hands when he was drunk. For the purpose of understanding the translation on its own, I have added some words: too, with bare hands.

No comments: