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和张文潜诗《读中兴颂碑》(二首)第二首 The Great Revival ( Part Two )


和张文潜诗《读中兴颂碑》(二首)

原作:李清照

英译:闵晓红


第二首


君不见,

惊人废兴传天宝,

中兴碑上今生草。

不知负国有奸雄,

但说成功尊国老。

谁令妃子天上来,

虢秦韩国皆天才。

花桑羯鼓玉方响,

春风不敢生尘埃。

姓名谁复知安史,

健儿猛将安眠死。

去天尺五抱瓮峰,

峰头凿出开元字。


时移势去真可哀,

奸人心丑深如崖

西蜀万里尚能反,

南内一闭何时开。

可怜孝德如天大,

反使将军称好在。


呜呼!

奴辈乃不能道:

辅国用事张后专。

乃能念:

春荠长安作斤卖。


The Great Revival

- two poems echoing after Zhang Wenqian’s poem

written by: Li Qingzhao

trans. by : Julia Min


Part Two

The stone is left alone, forgotten in weeds rampant,

though Tianbao’s Revival had the world shaken.

The carved record only praises the heroic defenders,

who would soon become worthy but retired statesmen.

No inscription on the tricky arrangement of Yuhuan

adorned by the Emperor, and her three sisters of ‘talent’.

Only in fact the palace stayed awake for his drumming,

even spring wind had to hold, avoiding dust in motion.

The names of An and Shi were seldom mentioned.

Tang’s invincible army enjoyed death in indolence;


And the work was still assigned and craftsmen sent

to hug Mt Urn-belly, to carve on top cliff ‘Kaiyuan’

in honour of Xuanzong’s unusual achievements

for Tang’s glory before the falling to the gully

of the perilous minds, the treacherous An-Shi gang.

His Majesty could manage a return to his Palace

thousands miles away from West Shu with his men

but then, could he open his South Great Hall again?

General Gao had to instigate rebellion with a greeting

from Emperor Emeritus thanks to His filial offspring.


Alas, as a posterity lady I should refrain from saying:

Empress Zhang was too imperious for Fuguo’s alliance.

But we may still quote:

“The veggie Spring Ji is sold by the gram in Chang’an.”


Appreciation:

What can I say! She is my idol, my goddess, the best of all past and present!

This two poems could upend the general impression about Li Qingzhao who is only taken as a good Ci poet with excellent female touch on the subtle elegance and eloquence of sentimental song lyrics. Sometimes, you might think she’s “too moody” until you read her poems such as these two.


Contemporary readers might find it hard to believe this is Li Yi’an’s work, still less likely to accept this is her teenage creation. Yes it was written when she was only 17 years old, a new budding talent unrivalled not only in poetry writing but also in social and history viewpoint. It took the noble men’s society with a big surprise there and then as you could imagine. The subject of the Great Revival has always been the highlight in Tang’s history, and of course a hot topic for artistic creation in the last thousand years whenever artists criticised the revival and downfall or declining of a dynasty.


Zhang Lei was among the best Four Scholars following Su Dong-po. His poem on the Great Revival Monument was well-received among the gentlemen’s society, and many other famous scholars and officials echoed his poem ( a popular way to write a new poem with the same theme, rhyming patterns and metres in honour of the original poem). Other than the poetic qualities, the reason for the big hit was the huge concern over the political situation of the Northern Song where Zhang Lei stirred the conscious minds by referring to the Tang’s lessons. These two echoing poems shine over all others for her heroic romantic temperament.


As a descendent of a family with famous scholars for generations where connections with the high-ranking Royal Court officials had been a family heritage, Yi’an is a natural in her aristocratic temperament with a noble bearing unrivalled by other female writers and many famous men writers in China. This explains her boldness in her criticism strongly felt in these two poems, a style persevered throughout her poem writings as in her other works “By the River of Wujiang”, “ the Eight Verses Tower ” and “The River Traffic by Yan’s Fishing Pavilion”. Even Dong-po’s choice of words seem refrained from being this sharp about the political platform, which make you think their different social backgrounds could be the source. Furthermore, Su suffered 100 days in prison whereas Yi’an stayed only 9 days there. Her family background and connections certainly played an impressive role than Su’s. As influential and loved by the Song people Su was short of powerful family connections supporting him, hence he was banished from time to time from the Royal Court.


Poetic forms and styles are seriously attended to in Li Qingzhao’s writings. She insisted that the heroic boldness in poetic style should only be seen in poems, not in the musical ci. In her essay on Ci poetry, she criticised Su Shi for being short of musical sensation, resulting in the mixing of poem’s heroic romantic style and Ci’s subtle sentimental style. When you look back at her poems and ci poetry, you’ll understand what she means.


In Europe, there’re many poems and some long epic poems about the rising and downfall of political entities. Percy Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias” comes to mind. … …


Notes:

1. “Tianbao’s Revival” Emperor Xuanzong. In the first 30 years of his reign he was a diligent and astute ruler, credited with bringing Tang China to a pinnacle of culture and power.

2. “Yuhuan”: Xuanzong’s Consort Yang Guifei who was blamed for the Emperor’s over-trusting Li Linfu, Yang Guozhong and An Lushan during his later reign, with Tang's golden age declining after An-Shi Rebellion;

3. “His drumming”: Emperor Xuanzong loved to play drum music, here suggesting he lived in luxury, unaware the coming disaster of the Rebellion.

4. “Kaiyuan” : the name for Xuanzong’s best reigning years, perhaps the most flourishing time in China history;

5. “ West Shu”: today’s Sichuan province; During the rebellion the emperor had to flee with a few thousands army men to West Shu.

6. “South Great Hall”: When the emperor returned, his son was already crowned, leaving him no choice but to accept the title of “Emperor Emeritus”. Great Hall South used to be his courthouse and now he was not accepted there.

7. “General Gao”: often praised as a positive figure of eunuch participation in politics for his personal loyalty to Emperor Xuanzong despite personal danger. Later in Emperor Suzong's reign, he was exiled upon Li Fuguo's urging.

8. “Empress Zhang”: ambitious lady who was in alliance with An Lushan and later killed by him;

9. “Fuguo”: Li Fuguo, eunuch in great power as the executive assistant to the emperor; his ambition caught him trying to become the emperor himself;

10.“the veggie Spring Ji is sold by the gram in Chang’an.” – a poetic line from General Gao;


Reference:

1. baike.baidu.com (百度百科)

2. picture:Google.com

4. Google.com


 




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