Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tang Dynasty Poem: Early Wintersweet

Early Wintersweet: A Poem by a Tang Dynasty Poet

     早梅
         【唐】张谓
一树寒梅白玉条,迥临村落傍溪桥。
应缘近水花先发,疑是经冬雪未消。


Word-by-word Exegesis 逐字注释
一one 树tree 寒cold 梅plum/wintersweet 白white 玉jade 条twig
迥far 临by 村village 落residence 傍lean againt 溪stream 桥bridge
应should 缘due to 近close 水water 花flower 先first 发shoot
疑suspect 是be 经over 冬winter 雪snow 未not yet 消melt


  Early Wintersweet
       Zhang Wei (Active around 767, Tang Dynasty)
A lone shrub of cold wintersweet
Leans against the bridge over the stream;
Away from the village,
Its white jade offshoots neglected.
The buds closer to the water
Bloom first,
But they are perhaps taken for frozen snow
Yet to melt.


Back-translation to contemporary Chinese现代汉语回译

   早梅
一株寒梅孤单单的,
倚靠在溪流上的小桥边;
远离了村舍,
它白玉的枝条也被人忽视。
离水近的蓓蕾
先绽放了,
可它们恐怕被错看成了结冰的雪,
有待消融。

No comments: