Monday, September 29, 2008

Huang Jingren: At Year-End, Missing Friends 12

  At Year-End, Missing Friends
           Huang Jingren (1749-1783 Qing Dynasty)

  In the 44th year of Qianlong Reign (1779), when Huang Jingren had been in Beijing as a low-rank official for a few years, he wrote a group of twenty poems. The first one should be read as an opening piece, which was not addressed to any particular one, while each of the rest was written for a specific friend or teacher.

   No. 12 (of 20)
I miss most the moonlight creeping in to your thatched house;
By the lake, there are shadows of sails moving
On the bamboo curtains.
I learn you have been living in Hangzhou for five years,
Therefore, every time I dream, I dream of the West Lake,
And that is how I see you.

Chinese Original 汉语原诗


  岁year 暮dusk 怀miss 人man
绝absolute 忆miss 君you 家home 草thatch 堂hall 月moon(light)
往come 来go 帆sail 影shadow 动move 帘curtain 纹pattern
知know 君you 五five 载year 杭州Hangzhou 住live
一one 梦dream 西湖West Lake 一one 见see 君you

 I like the juxtaposition of the sail shadows and the curtain patterns. Obviously, we can assume that the patterns on the curtains are not a landscape into which the sails can be well integrated. Therefore, the different times and spaces create apparent confliction in the visual effect, but it is this superimposition that represents quite stunningly the dream-effect. In order to highlight this contrast, I translate the curtain into bamboo curtain, which was very probable.
 我最喜欢这首诗中的第二句。我们显然可以假定帘子上的图案不可能刚好就是山水风景,而船帆的影子刚好能够有机地融进去,因此这就产生了一种看似矛盾的视觉图像。船帆在不该出现的空间出现了。 因此我将帘子翻译成了竹帘,是为了突出这种矛盾并置。这种视觉的矛盾恰恰能够最大程度地表现出一种梦幻感,而这正是整首诗的旨趣所在。

Back-translation into Contemporary Chinese 现代汉语回译


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