Su Tung-P’o — A visit to the temple of the God of Mercy, on a rainy day

A visit to the temple of the God of Mercy, on a rainy day

Su Tung-P’o

1037-1101 CE
(translated by William P. Coleman)

The silkworms have grown old;
the wheat has become half yellow;
around the mountain the rain falls unhindered.

Farmers halt their plows;
women set aside their baskets;
in the high hall white robes clothe the immortals.

I found the Chinese text and an English translation of this poem — along with the word-by-word literal translation I used to create this one — at Chinese Poems.

The grammar of Chinese allows poets to leave interpretive choices open, and it’s an unattainable ideal of translating to bring out possibilities without closing others. I try to use my sense of English to at least intrigue you. If I’ve succeeded, it’s best — even if you don’t know Chinese, which I don’t either — to follow up at the source I cite above and see the original word-by-word translation from which I worked. It’ll be richer than what I’ve given you. To understand the poem best, try to construct your own translation.

See the FAQ and the external links at Chinese Poems, a beautiful resource with many 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 Su Tung P’o translations.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Chinese poetry, Poetry, Su Tung-P'o and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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