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  • Gordon Osing and Julia Min

怨王孙·湖上风来波浩渺 Far and wide the lake spreads before the wind

怨王孙.湖上风来波浩渺 (又作“双调忆王孙.赏荷”)











Far and Wide the Lake Spreads before the Wind

- to the Tune of Yuanwangsun

written by Li Qingzhao ( 12th century)

translated by Gordon Osing and Julia Min

Far and wide the lake spreads before the soft wind.

It’s late autumn already, lotus fragrance lingering.

These waves, this light, the hills, and many more, -

are the eternal echoes of ancient music performing.

See, the lotus are seed-pods, leaves brown and thin.

Dews cleanse duckweed blooms, the grassy strands.

The gulls and herons sleeping there don't even care

to lift their heads to the girls abandoning this scene.


This ci was written in Li Qing-zhao's early twenties, and is sometimes called "An Ode to Lotus." The quantity and zeal of the acceptance in this early poem certainly contrast with her states of mind, especially her inconsolability, in later poems.

Pinying and Word -For-Word Translation:

yuàn wáng sūn – the musical tune

hú shàng fēng lái bō hào miǎo – on the lake wind comes waves far and wide,

qiū yǐ mù、hóng xī xiāng shǎo - autumn already late, pink rare fragrance little.

shuǐ guāng shān sè yǔ rén qīn – water light hill color with people intimate,

shuō bú jìn、wú qióng hǎo – can’t express fully, boundless beauty.

lián zǐ yǐ chéng hé yè lǎo – lotus seeds already formed lotus leaves wither,

qīng lù xǐ 、píng huā tīng cǎo – crystal dews wash clover flowers waterside grass.

mián shā ōu lù bú huí tóu – sleeping on sand gulls herons not turn back their heads,

sì yě hèn 、rén guī zǎo – as if also hate people return early.

Other versions in English for your reference: (茅于美)



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