A Selection of Rustic Poems by Fan Cheng Da (1126-1193)__Kong Shiu Loon



《四时田园杂兴》__范成大 (1226-1193)

A Selection of Rustic Poems by Fan Cheng Da (1126-1193)
Translated by Kong Shiu Loon

春日 (1)


Spring (1)

At noon I hear cockerel calls in the Lane of Willow Flower
New mulberry leaves are showing green tips this hour
Waking from a drowse in my chair I enjoy life at ease
Outside the sunny window silkworms are breaking free

(3)high field_e


Spring (3)

The high field wheat’s colors are matching mountain greens
Down the valley paddy rice their shoots a verdant sheen
Aglow with fruit tree flowers the village is picturesque in spring
People drum and dance with songs at Festival Qing Ming

晚春 (3)butterfly_e

Late Spring (3)
Pairs of butterflies saunter about vegetable flowers
No visitor is expected in these long day hours
Suddenly hark and bark dogs and hens are disturbing the peace
A travelling merchant is here to buy our newly-picked teas

晚春 (10)
谷雨如絲復似塵  煮瓶浮蠟正嘗新  牡丹破萼樱桃熟  未許飛花減卻春

Late Spring (10)

The Grain and Rain Fest brings in rain like silk stringafter rain_e
I warm up a wax-zealed jar of wine my taste-bud rings
Peony blossom signals in cherries ripening
Falling flower petals may not mean the end of spring

晚春 (11)
雨后山家起较迟  天窗晓色半熹微  老翁欹枕听莺啭  童子开门放燕飞

Late Spring (11)
Mountain folks stay in bed late after the rains
Outside the roof window dawn slowly creeps in
Happy on his pillow grandpa listens to oriels sing
A small boy opens the door to let swallows wing

This entry was posted in Poems - All, Poems by - 范成大 (1126-1193) and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Selection of Rustic Poems by Fan Cheng Da (1126-1193)__Kong Shiu Loon

  1. Anthony Ho Chun-yuen says:

    Mr. T.C. Lai was my Form 3 English teacher in Queen’s College 60 years ago.
    Calligraphy for ‘谷雨如絲復似塵 …’ is missing.

  2. kong shiu loon says:

    It was the calligraphy that attracted me to this handsome little book by British poet Gerald Bullett titled Five Seasons of a Golden Year A Chinese Pastoral. Here is an example of his traslation/rewriting of the poem marked late spring (11). It should help readers to reognize how inaccurate, even poor is his rendition. I hope bilingual wahyanites would also see from it that translating Chinese poems into English is more than finding English words to match the original Chinese characters. One has to understand the context of Chinese life and the feelings/moods of the Chinese poets. Bullett’s presentation should speak the issues:
    雨后山家起较迟 天窗晓色半熹微 老翁欹枕听莺啭 童子开门放燕飞
    After the rains, morning, airy and good,
    Finds some of the country folks still in bed.
    Here, the high window fills with dawn,
    Of soft radiance, of dazzling sun.
    This old one, roused by rustles and chirping calls,
    Lies listening to the goldern oriels.
    The house boy, already up and about,
    Opens the door to let a swallow out.

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