Wang Wei — The Deer Enclosure

The Deer Enclosure

Wang Wei

701-761 CE
(translated by William P. Coleman)

Mountains empty, with no one visible
someone is heard — his words sound.

Light returns to enter far into the forest,
again shining, caught falling on green moss.

Updated version:

On the empty mountain, with no one in sight,
yet I hear — someone’s words sound.

Visibility returns, entering the deep forest,
meeting and illuminating — the green of the moss.

This translation is my entry in the sweepstakes implicitly created by the indispensable and welcome book 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei by Eliot Weinberger and Octavio Paz. the book compares various translations of this poem published throughout the 20th Century. Weinberger’s comments are sometimes corrosive, often inspiring. I’ve tried to avoid some of his criticisms and ignore others.

Without attempting one’s own translation, it would be difficult to absorb what Weinberger and Paz say.

Weinberger, Eliot and Octavio Paz. Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei. Weinberger, Eliot and Octavio Paz. Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei. Mt. Kisco: Moyer Bell, 1987. ISBN 0-918825-14-8.

Greg Whincup, The Heart or Chinese Poetry Translation resources are also on pp. 169-170 of Greg Whincup’s book The Heart of Chinese Poetry, Anchor Books, 1987; ISBN 0-385-23967-X.

There are online translation materials at Chinese Poems.

wang wei -- deer park and also at Wengu — 300 Tang Poems.


more Chinese poetry translations in this blog More Chinese poetry translations in this blog.
more Chinese poetry translations in this blog Home page for my Wang Wei translations.

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Chinese poetry, Poetry, Wang Wei and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Wang Wei — The Deer Enclosure

  1. Now that I have posted my rendition of this Wang Wei poem on my “Classical Chinese Poems in English”, may I reproduce it here for your critique?

    王維: 鹿柴
    Wang Wei (701—761): The Deer Range

    1 空山不見人
    2 但聞人語響
    3 返景入深林
    4 復照青苔上

    1 So hollow is the mountain, not a soul in sight,
    2 Yet the sound of men talking is somehow heard despite.
    3 Into the deep, deep forest, the returning sun rays peep,
    4 To shed again on the green moss, the day’s remaining light.

    Translated by Andrew W.F. Wong (Huang Hongfa) 譯者: 黃宏發
    28 February 2008 (revised 13.3.08; 17.9.08; 16.12.08; 5 9 11) (text and notes further revised 14.9.11)

    Do consult Eliot Weinberger’s “19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei” too.

  2. Dear Bill, I have written on your “Wang Wei–The Bamboo Grove” post too. Grateful for your response to both. Andrew.

  3. I have recently posted on my “Classical Chinese Poems in English” blog my rendition of this Wang Wei poem. Here it is for your reference and critique:-

    王維: 鹿柴
    Wang Wei (701—761): The Deer Range

    1 空山不見人
    2 但聞人語響
    3 返景入深林
    4 復照青苔上

    1 So hollow is the mountain, not a soul in sight,
    2 Yet the sound of men talking is somehow heard despite.
    3 Into the deep, deep forest, th’ returning sun rays peep, (revised 14.9.11)
    4 To shed again on the green moss, the day’s remaining light.

    Translated by Andrew W.F. Wong (Huang Hongfa) 譯者: 黃宏發
    28 February 2008 (revised 13.3.08; 17.9.08; 16.12.08; 5 9 11) (text and notes further revised 14.9.11)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s