Some chinese poems

translated by John Bjarne Grover
from source
Top 10 Most Influential Chinese Poems in History

Cao Zhi: Poem

Cook vessel round, burn vessel square:
The vessel is old China's tear.
The true root is the living root.
It seems you cook on higher foot?

Li Qingzha: Untranslatable poem

An alien man makes people feel like heather
(death often comes so miserably shod)
untill the moment when you feel your feather
will not transgress the river of the God.

(It is my interpretation that this poem is about the poem or poet that will not translate. It is easy to translate it into something more trivially 'correct' - 'death comes as an important ghost, will not transcend the river of the host' etc. The feather is really the name Xiang Yu, allegedly a historic person. In my interpretation the poem is about the name of the poet and the inability to translate - the heather is not really mentioned - about a sort of tree called 'Shampoolion'?)

Li Shen: Poem

We pick the rice when sun approaches noon
and sweat drops fall like rice grains to the earth:
Who knows what plate of china fills it soon -
the rice that's every toilsome labour worth?

Wang Zhihuan: Poem

The clear sun hangs over the mountain tops.
The Yellow River's running towards the sea
trying to reach the end where nothing stops
so far beyond the surface of the tree.

Wang Wei: Poem

Alone in foreign land, I am a happy guest
and every girl I meet at parties want to kiss and kiss.
A letter from my brothers tells: "Climb to a higher nest
beyond the [mountain oak] - there is our brother's miss".

(Mountain oak is guesswork only - I could not find out anywhere what CHA ZHU YŚ could mean - it seems to be a tree of some sort)

Source: Top 10 Most Influential Chinese Poems in History

Translated on 22-26 december 2017

© John Bjarne Grover
On the web 27 december 2017
Last updated 31 december 2020