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  • Gordon Osing and Julia Min

江城子·十年生死两茫茫 It's ten years you're gone and I'm living

















It's ten years you're gone and I'm living

- to the tune of Jiangchengzi

(my dream on January 20th,1075)

translated by Gordon Osing and Julia Min

It's ten years you're gone and I'm living

in two worlds apart and fading.

If I've tried hard not to recall,

I’d say also I can't ignore.

It's a thousand miles to your tomb;

so whom can I share my mood of gloom?

You would not know me by now,

my temples frosted with lines on brow.

Last night in the mist of my dream-world,

I was home again, watching by your window.

You are adorning yourself, still young and fair.

Our eyes meet and freeze --

we're in silence and in tears;

then the dream ends right there.

Where the moon illumines your ridge of pines.

I swear my heart breaks further each year.

Picture retrieved from Google

Other versions for your reference 
1. 美国著名汉学家 Burton Watson的译文:
2. 许渊冲,林语堂: 


Some scholars believe this is one of the earliest elegies written in the form of the ci. Ten years after his wife's death, the poet had experienced numerous ups and downs, several changes in official positions. The second stanza, is very touching, with its memory of a small, informal moment they shared together in their past.


1. “yi mao”in the title, the year of Yi-mao, 1075.

2. “shi nian sheng si”, Su Shi's wife, died in 1065. The dead (Wang Fu) and the living know nothing of each other in their separate worlds.

3. Wang Fu was buried in Pengshan County,Sichuan Province, very far from Mizhou“duan song gang”, which is the place of her burial.

Pinying and Word -For-Word Translation:

jiāng chéng zǐ (yǐ mǎo zhèng yuè èr shí rì yè jì mèng )- to the tune of Jiangchengzi; a night dream on January 20 in 1075 ( 3 days after the first full moon, Chinese calendar)

shí nián shēng sǐ liǎng máng máng – ten years the alive and the dead both distant apart.

bú sī liàng ,zì nán wàng – not always think about you but difficult to forget.

qiān lǐ gū fén - thousand li desolate tomb,

wú chù huà qī liáng – nowhere to tell loneliness.

zòng shǐ xiàng féng yīng bú shí - even if we meet again, should not recognize,

chén mǎn miàn ,bìn rú shuāng – dust covers my face, temples like frost.

yè lái yōu mèng hū hái xiāng – at night gloomy dream suddenly return my native place.

xiǎo xuān chuāng ,zhèng shū zhuāng - by small room window, she is making up.

xiàng gù wú yán - face each other no word,

wéi yǒu lèi qiān háng - only there are tears thousand lines.

liào dé nián nián cháng duàn chù -guess year by year heart-broken place;

míng yuè yè ,duǎn sōng gāng - bright moon night, short pine tree ridge



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