原作：李清照 （宋） 英译：戈登.奥赛茵，闵晓红
Before my Window
- to the Tune of Tianzicaisangzi
written by Li Qingzhao ( 1084-1155?)
trans.by Gordon Osing and Julia Min
Before my window,
day in, day out, a dreamy shadow
dominates my patio --
the banana tree,
unfolding her tender leaves.
Awaked midnight by the drippings,
my pillow of sorrow hears the rain,
like a story of melancholy
in endless weeping.
A wanderer's heart breaks,
unable to bear such listening.
This ci was written in a season of profound homesickness, sometime after 1127, a time of turmoil when Northern Song just came to an end after the fall of the capital. The Royal Court moved south，opening a new page, the Southern Song dynasty.
Banana tree bears a symbolic meaning associated with sorrow and separation in Chinese literature, especially for lovers or loved ones. It could be offered during a funeral to show deep love and respect, and a reluctance to let go of the dead. It’s also a favourable plant used to enhance feng shui both indoors and outdoors. So, the subject of this ci is well chosen, is it?