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  • Julia Min

琴诗 The Qin Music


原作: 苏轼(字子瞻, 号东坡居士; 11世纪北宋)

旧版英译:戈登.奥赛茵, 闵晓红, 黄海鹏(1990)

新版赏析修改: 闵晓红(2023)





The Qin Music

written by Su Shi (11th AC, social name 'Dongpo')

old En. trans. by G. Osing, J. Min & H. Huang (1990)

annot. revision by Julia Min (2013)

I hear you say the music’s in the wood;

Why can’t I hear it when it’s put away?

You say the music’s in the fingers, good!

But could one listen to his hands all day?


Here’s an allegory of the pre-eminence of the subjective, specifically the artistically apprehended reality – the music, over the objective things of wood and fingers. To embody philosophical messages in the art world is seen as the embraced style of the Song writings and paintings. It also applies to life itself, both ancient and modern as the world evolves in a twining motion between the static and the dynamic, the yin and the yang. There’s likely an influence from his father Su Xun a famous essayist known for his bold but sophisticated comments supported with carefully constructed theories. He knew very well how the two worlds of art and actualities require each other.


1. Blooming Alone in Winter by Gordon Osing, Julia Min, and Huang Haipeng, published by the People's Publication House Henan Province in 1990 (《寒心未肯随春态》戈登.奥赛茵,闵晓红,黄海鹏)

2. picture from “洛水琴客” via《每日头条》


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