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  • Gordon Osing and Julia Min

多丽·小楼寒 An Ode to the Golden Blossoms


多丽·小楼寒

原作:李清照 英译:戈登.奥赛茵,闵晓红

Retrieved from Google

小楼寒,

夜长帘幕低垂。

恨萧萧、无情风雨,

夜来揉损琼肌。

也不似、贵妃醉脸,


也不似、孙寿愁眉。

韩令偷香,

徐娘傅粉,

莫将比拟未新奇。

细看取、屈平陶令,

风韵正相宜。

微风起,

清芬蕴藉,

不减酴釄。


渐秋阑、雪清玉瘦,

向人无限依依。

似愁凝、汉皋解佩,

似泪洒、纨扇题诗。

朗月清风,

浓烟暗雨,

天教憔悴度芳姿。

纵爱惜、不知从此,

留得几多时?

人情好,

何须更忆,

泽畔东篱。


In her cold chamber the whole night long

- to the tune of Duoli

written by Li Qingzhao

translated by Gordon Osing & Julia Min


In her cold chamber the whole night long,

the curtains sagging, tightly drawn,

she hates the incessant winds and rains

that chase to ruin her jade complexion.

Forget Yang Guifei's tipsy smile,

Sun Shou's frowned crescent eyebrows,

or Han shou's stolen incense

and Lady Xu's powdered face.

Look closer, my friend,

Qu Ping and Magistrate Tao knew better!

The breeze lifts a subtle fragrance

like raspberry, but all the sweeter.


Autumn deepens, and her fine snowy skin

shows an ultimate reluctance that is human,

like the sorrow at Hangao for lost pendants,

or Lady Ban’s poem of tears on her silk fan.

Under the full moon in chilly winds,

in thickening haze and darkening rains,

the Gods spend all her fragrance.

No matter how we cherish the moment,

only out of time, she’s never for long.

If the world weren't so wrong,

who'd need the effort to send

for Lord Qu in his lakeshore garden!



---


For appreciation:

This ci about chrysanthemums is also about Li Qingzhao herself, in her unhappy isolation. The poem alludes repeatedly to old times, to her youth, to be sure, but also to old cultural times characterized by the lives of Qu Yuan and Tao Yuanmin and folktales that bespoke the national integrity. This ci is generally placed in the poet's second period, between 1107 and 1127, before she left for the south.


Notes:

1. "xiao xiao": the repetitious sound of rain.

2. "gui fei": Yang Yuhuan, the favorite concubine of Emperor Xuan Zong, in the Tang Dynasty. The Emperor loved her so exceedingly his regime fell into internal disorder and even his armies began to fail in defense of the country for lack of command. The Emperor's generals demanded the Emperor allow her to be strangled, therefore, and so she was. Her tomb is in the countryside west of Xi'an, the old Chang'an of the Tang era.

3. "Sun Shou": The wife of Liang Yi, an official during the East Han period. She is a lady quite famous in romantic folklore for her lovely countenance, especially for her perfect eyebrows, shaped like the crescent moon.

4. "han ling" etc.: It is said the daughter of a powerful official fell in love with Han Shou and stole precious incense to please him. When the father found out, he had no choice but to arrange their marriage.

"xu niang"etc.: Lady Xu was a beautiful concubine. Her fair face is her most special feature. It's said the emperor suspected that she put on too much white powder, and so he offered her steaming noodles to eat, which caused her to perspire. When she wiped her brow, her face, however, became all the more fair. Both of these famous romantic figures fail to come up to the superior example of the white chrysanthemums, that require no dissembling.

5. "qu ping tao ling"etc.: born in an aristocratic family, Qu Yuan (340 – 278 BC) was a great poet of the Chu State, famous for his lines, "Taking the morning dew as my drink and the fragrant chrysanthemum as my meal ..." Qu drowned himself in a river on 5 May and his devotees offered zongzi (sticky rice cake) to the fish to prevent them from eating him. To this day, May 5 has been an important day in China called Duanwu Festival. People eat zongzi in his memory.

6. Magistrate Tao: Tao Yuan-ming, a great poet of the East Gin period, who gave up a lucrative official position as an county magistrate to return to the simple life of a farmer. He is, in this case, remembered for his famous lines, "picking chrysanthemum by the east fence, most carefree, I survey the South Hill..." This imagery suggests the life of pure dedication to private arts and wisdom, the highest goal of the Confucian life.

7. "tu mi": bramble rose or roseleaf raspberry, sweet-smelling, with pale yellow leaf.

8. "han gao jie pei": A man named Zhen Jiaopu, at a place called Hangao in the Chu state, met two ladies wearing precious pendants, spirits actually, who gave them to him for his hasty greed, and then disappeared and so had the pendants. Here, the poet refers to the sorrow for something just got and already lost.

9. "wan shan ti shi": The lady Ban Shi had been selected to the court and was very much the favorite of the Emperor, for a season. When he turned to another, she appealed to him for reconsideration by writing the poem "On Sorrow", comparing herself to a fan, loved in summer and thrown away in winter. The legend has it that she wrote the poem in tears.


Pinying and Word -For-Word Translation:

duō lì ·xiǎo lóu hán


xiǎo lóu hán ,

yè zhǎng lián mù dī chuí 。

hèn xiāo xiāo 、wú qíng fēng yǔ ,

yè lái róu sǔn qióng jī 。

yě bú sì 、guì fēi zuì liǎn ,

yě bú sì 、sūn shòu chóu méi 。

hán lìng tōu xiāng ,

xú niáng fù fěn ,

mò jiāng bǐ nǐ wèi xīn qí 。

xì kàn qǔ 、qū píng táo lìng ,

fēng yùn zhèng xiàng yí 。

wēi fēng qǐ ,

qīng fēn yùn jiè ,

bú jiǎn tú mí 。


jiàn qiū lán 、xuě qīng yù shòu ,

xiàng rén wú xiàn yī yī 。

sì chóu níng 、hàn gāo jiě pèi ,

sì lèi sǎ 、wán shàn tí shī 。

lǎng yuè qīng fēng ,

nóng yān àn yǔ ,

tiān jiāo qiáo cuì dù fāng zī 。

zòng ài xī 、bú zhī cóng cǐ ,

liú dé jǐ duō shí ?

rén qíng hǎo ,

hé xū gèng yì ,

zé pàn dōng lí 。

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