好事近.风定落花深 The Wind Stops to Mock the Fallen Crimsons
The Wind Stops to Mock the Fallen Crimsons
- to the tune of Haoshijin
translated by Julia X. Min
The wind stops to mock the fallen crimson
now piled like snow outside my windows.
I’m bound to memories of spring blossoms
like the fragrance to the bare crabapples.
After all the cheers over wine and songs,
only the swaying lamps now stay to mourn,
until swallowed by gloom and doom,
until cuckoo birds wakes me before dawn.
Other versions for your reference (茅于美 译): https://www.en84.com/dianji/ci/200912/00000886.html
What’s unique about this poem lies in the choice of perspective and moment. Despite being a sentimental poem, it breaks away from the convention of traditional verse on windy description but a still moment after the wind, as if time is suspended for a clearer insight into her mind. Being an anchor poet in literature, she often takes readers’ breath away with originality and subtleness, such as the ci poem “A bit tipsy, I slept with make-up on” (to the tune of Suzhongqing) which chose a withered flower as the subject, as if she’s got the divine power to turn anything into gold. The relationship between dreamy world of the past and the reality is a popular topic during Southern Song Dynasty. Social conflicts in history seems to have initiated great literature without failure. This ci reminds me of Shakespeare’s play Love’s Labour’s Fantasy, a masterpiece on the fantasy of love and social success, and a hot theme throughout the Renaissance.
Both the cuckoo bird and the crab-apple flower associate strong juxtaposition of spring joy and love with nostalgic sentiment, like rainbow and dark storm on the same stage, which ultimately lends to irony for a stronger artistic impact. The bird resonate with early spring, vitality, even pilgrimage spirit for a pure and ideal world, such as in To the Cuckoo by William Wordsworth (1770-1850, representative of British Romanticism).