一翦梅 李清照(1084-1151)

紅藕香殘玉簟秋   輕解羅裳   獨上蘭舟   雲中誰寄錦書來   雁字回時   月滿西樓

花自飄零水自流  一種相思  兩處閒愁  此情無計可消除  才下眉頭  卻上心頭 

Tune: A Twig of Mume       Li Qing Zhao (1084-1151)     江紹倫譯 

Pink lotus its fragrance fades on a mat of jade
I doff my silk robe
To board alone on an orchid boat
From among the clouds who would send me a letter written on brocade
Whence the geese return
Moonlight will fill my bower

In nature flowers drift as water flows
One single agog
Heartbreaks in two places
How to dismiss this sorrow I know not
It may disappear from eyebrow knit
But sinks into my aching heart deep

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4 Responses to 一翦梅 李清照(1084-1151)

  1. YK 1965 says:

    梅, in the Chinese sense, is Chinese plum. Botanically, it is Prunus mume (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_mume
    or http://baike.baidu.com/view/4085.htm?fr=ala0_1)
    It may simply be called “mume flower”.

    YK

  2. YK 1965 says:

    Also, syringa refers to the lilacs.

    YK

  3. frank yue says:

    may i post my attempted rendition below, please, for comments. thanks.

    【一剪梅 】 李清照
    紅藕香殘玉簟秋, 輕解羅裳,獨上蘭舟。
    雲中誰寄錦書來? 雁字回時,月滿西樓。
    花自飄零水自流, 一種相思,兩處閑愁。
    此情無計可消除, 才下眉頭,卻上心頭。

    Tune: A Cut Spray of Plum Flowers Li Qingzhao
    Amid autumnal green petals, fades fragrance from pink lotus flowers.
    Taking off my silk robe, (m’self some freedom to afford –)
    An orchid boat I blithely board.
    Through clouds, who’s sending me a letter on the geese that ply?
    By the time the winged messengers return with my reply,
    Bright moonlight floods my western bower.

    Petals fall and blow,
    Running waters flow;
    The same strong longings we share,
    In two places two hearts in despair!
    O Tell me please, would you,
    How to clear sentiments so blue?
    Grief knitted my eyebrows in deep frown,
    Once released, grief sinks for my heart to drown!

    frank

  4. frank yue says:

    the 3rd line of my rendition should of course read:

    ‘Alone, an orchid boat I blithely board.

    frank

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