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  • Julia Min

咏史 A sigh on a history rewind


咏史

原作:李清照/无名氏

英译:闵晓红


两汉本继绍,

新室如赘疣。

所以嵇中散,

至死薄殷周。


A sigh on a history rewind

written by: : Li Qingzhao / Anonymous

translated by:Julia Min


West or East, it’s truly just the same Han.

Whatever new bottle, it’s the old wine.

Thus a great mind in Three Kingdoms, Ji Kang

disdained Zhou’s King Wu and Yin’s King Tang.



Appreciation:

Yi’an must have written many poems on history though only a few remained today. Her understanding of Chinese history seems as profound as what a great mind could acquire. After translating all her works we have today, I get the impression that she was a lady of double characters. She was seriously formal in history matters so she always chose the more strict classical form of poetry in five-character lines, or in seven-character lines. No sentiment comes in between her subjects, themes and forms – an image of a materialist. Such a style sustained all through her life as in her long poems -- “ The Great Revival” and “ Two Poems to Lord Han Xiaozhou”.


When it comes to sentimental subjects about seasons, love, and everyday life matters, she was an idealist where idealism sets the keys for every aspect of romantic beauty and forms. She would use the more dynamic lines of ci poetry, showing the forever revolving motions in the Yin and Yang world, totally different vibes and rhymes from her poetry. Do you agree?


Notes:

1. Han: divided into West Han and East Han Dynasties (西汉和东汉202 BC -220 AC), implying the division of Northern Song and Southern Song dynasties (北宋和南宋);

2. Ji Kang: (嵇康) a philosopher in Daoism and an artist in music and literature from Wei State during the Three Kongdoms (220-280 AC);

3. Zhou’s King Wu: King Wu of the Zhou Dynasty (周朝1046 – 256 BC);

4. Yin’s King Tang: King Tang of the Yinshang period (殷商approx. 1300-1046 BC );


Reference:

1. baike.baidu.com (百度百科)

2. zh.wikipedia.org (维基百科)

3. 《李清照集笺注》李清照撰,徐培均笺注; 2002年上海古籍出版社

4. 《李清照文集》 作者:(北宋)李清照著,刘振鹏https://books.google.com.au/

5. All pictures are selected from google search.

 




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