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  • Gordon Osing and Julia Min

渔家傲 . 雪里已知春信至 In the snowy yard the Spring messenger arrived

渔家傲

原作:李清照 (12世纪 宋)

第一版英译:戈登.奥赛茵,闵晓红,黄海鹏

第二版修改:闵晓红


雪里已知春信至,

寒梅点缀琼枝腻。

香脸半开娇旖旎,

当庭际,

玉人浴出新妆洗。


造化可能偏有意,

故教明月玲珑地。

共赏金尊沈绿蚁,

莫辞醉,

此花不与群花比。


In the snowy yard the Spring messenger arrived

--to the tune of Yujia’ao


composed by Li Qingzhao ( 12th Century)

1st English edition: by G. Osing, J. Min and H. P. Huang

2nd Eng. edition with revision by Julia Min


In the snowy yard the Spring messenger arrived:

There, fresh from bath, mirrors a jade fairy being.

Her sleeky plum boughs are sprouting, blossoming,-

so delicate, lips opening, a sweetness personified.


Her, the Creation must favour above all her like,

so let the vivid moon shine the brightest tonight.

Let’s fill our golden cups, all with the new wine.

A toast to this unusual beauty, till morning light.

For appreciation:

Scholars associate the exuberance of this ci with the earlier phase of Li Qingzhao's life, before she and her kind began fleeing to the south from the sudden foreign encroachments. Western readers would do well to imagine the absolute unity she pictured, between the plum blossoms in the snowy yard, the moon and herself, and her beautiful eloquence on the plum blossoms. The flower has been a symbol of the desired qualities valued in the Chinese culture -- brave, proud and enduring spirit.


Notes:

1. "the Spring messenger": the plum tree blossoms before all other flowers, starting in late January through to March.

2. "jade fairy being": the imagery construct the plum blossoms as a beautiful and elegant lady, fresh from her bath and dressing table, as of Li Qingzhao's own class and taste.


Reference:

1. Our old version: “To the Tune of Yujia’ao” – “In the snowy yard I see Spring’s messenger arrived,/cold plum blossoms on branches of sleek jade,/there, fresh from her bath and mirror, a lady/ so delicate, lips opening, sweetness personified.//Her the creation favors above all her like,/so let the vivid moon shine all brighter!/A toast! And fill the gold cups with wine tonight!/Exquisite blossoms, why not toast you till morning light!”

2. picture from Google


Pinying and Word -For-Word Translation:

yú jiā ào . xuě lǐ yǐ zhī chūn xìn zhì

yuán zuò :lǐ qīng zhào

yīng yì :mǐn xiǎo hóng


xuě lǐ yǐ zhī chūn xìn zhì ,

hán méi diǎn zhuì qióng zhī nì 。

xiāng liǎn bàn kāi jiāo yǐ nǐ ,

dāng tíng jì ,

yù rén yù chū xīn zhuāng xǐ 。


zào huà kě néng piān yǒu yì ,

gù jiāo míng yuè líng lóng dì 。

gòng shǎng jīn zūn shěn lǜ yǐ ,

mò cí zuì ,

cǐ huā bú yǔ qún huā bǐ 。


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