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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2002 4:15 am
by Tianshan Zi
Unfortunately, I know no Chinese. Translations here and there will have to suffice. In the USA, it is hard to find collections of Chinese poetry, at least outside the works of Li Po and Tu Fu. We Americans make it hard on ourselves!

Thank you again, Lady Wu, for sharing your knowledge. I look forward to reading more of your translations.

Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2002 9:53 pm
by Yuan Seth
as do I. Wasn't it Ruan Yu instead of Yuan Yu? I think I might of seen him in R3K VII as one of the Poetry Judges.

Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2002 8:29 pm
by Tianshan Zi
Within the first 20 or so chapters SGYY, Cao Cao has a love affair with a relative of Zhang Xiu (?); I can't remember the exact name of the woman nor her exact relationship to Zhang Xiu, but I do remember Xiu being quite angry about it. (I'll have to look up the specific names and relationship when I get home this evening.)

Anyway, did Cao Cao write any poems mentioning or alluding to this love affair?

EDIT: The woman was Zhang Ji's wife/widow.

Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2002 8:22 am
by Lady Wu
Tianshan Tzu wrote:Anyway, did Cao Cao write any poems mentioning or alluding to this love affair?

Hehehe I wish... Cao Cao wasn't much of a love poetry writer, too practical a man was he. His surviving poems are mainly about his feelings about current affairs, his own ambitions, and perhaps one or two fantastical poems (about immortals and stuff). Cao Pi has a mix of love poems (love poems to die for...), political poems (mainly stating his wish to have talented peopel to work for him), and some satirical work denouncing belief in Taoist immortals and fairies. Cao Zhi wrote a bunch of political allegories, based on his misfortunes in the political arena, and some terrific fantastical poems.

Sun Seth: My bad -- yes, it should be Ruan Yu. Thank you for the correction!

Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2002 5:03 am
by Yuan Seth
No prob ;)

So there are books with the collection of the Three Cao's poetry?

Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 7:38 pm
by Tianshan Zi
Sun Seth wrote:So there are books with the collection of the Three Cao's poetry?

If so, are they available in English, ideally in a bilingual edition?

(BTW: Lady Wu, when will you translate more RTK poems? :wink: )

Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 1:42 am
by Lady Wu
After a long long long hiatus... I present to you the second of the two poems Cao Pi wrote that were to the ancient tune "Yan Ge Xing" (which has since been lost). Both poems are about the sorrow of missing somebody.
Yan Ge Xing (2 of 2) -- Cao Pi

How easily came the parting day! And how hard
it is to see the day when we shall
meet once more –
the road runs long,
long from the rivers and mountains
that lie in between.
I think of you
in gloom, alone, daring not
to speak my mind aloud; I write to you
that go the way of clouds
scattered by the wind, never to be seen again.

Tears wash my face like rain, washing the colours
away from my complexion. Oh sorrow so great!
Who could bear it, and refrain from sighs?

Unrolling a scroll of verse, I try to sing
to take my mind off you.
But when the music fades away
grief comes back, shattering my heart anew.
Uneasily I rest my head
upon the pillow, but rest is so remote.
And so I rise,
drape on a cloak, pace outside the door
under the stars and moon peeking through the clouds,
amid the dirge cries of orioles circling the dawning sky
I lament with them --
unable to let my sorrow die.

Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 4:02 am
by Lady Wu
Another Cao Pi. And yes, the title refers to an ancient tune whose melody has since been lost (how'd you guess? :lol: )
Qiu Hu Xing – Cao Pi

I had an appointment with the fair lady in the morning,
But when the sun leaned west, she is still not here.
Fine foods have lost their taste to me,
the goblet of good wine I cannot raise.
Through the flittering birds I send her word,
“Tell her that I cannot wait! I cannot wait!”
I bend to pick the orchid blossoms,
and reach up for the laurel to weave her a crown [1].
But if the fair one is not here,
Whom should my weaving be woven for?
I would go with you – how far, you ask?
-- I would go with you to the ocean’s shore.
If the gods should speak with me, this is what I’d say:
“Give her a gift of precious pearls!”
Now I stand tiptoed to look for your arrival,
and anxiously now I pace the ground.
Still my lady does not appear!
Each moment is truly hard to bear.

[1] Fragrant herbs and plants were frequently used as love tokens that a man and a woman would exchange. The orchid and the laurel often featured in literature as examples of this gift-exchanging.

Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 11:35 pm
by CK
The poem is by Liu Yu Xi of the Tang Dynasty entitled "Shu Xian Zhu Miao" (Temple of Shu's first Emperor) It is actually quite funny so we decided to translate for you people to enjoy.


His heroic aura encompassing earth and heaven
After a thousand years is awe-inspiring still.
Contending for power in a tripartite world,
restoring the Han was his only will.
Having a prime minister, he could establish his kingdom,
But his heir is not of the capable sort.
Poor dancers who once were in Shu’s palaces,
are now dancing before Wei’s imperial courts!


Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2003 6:07 am
by Lady Wu
Here's Cao Cao. Different from everything you'd associate with him. This is a fantasy poem, describing a fantastical encounter with immortal beings
during a trip to the skies. The title has nothing to do with the poem; probably it's the name of a poetic style.

Mo Shang Sang (Mulberry on the Fields)

Driving a rainbow,
Riding crimson clouds,
I ascend the Nine Peaks to the Gates of Jade.

Crossing Heaven’s River,
Reaching Mount Kunlun (1),
I meet the Western Goddess, pay my respects to the Sun.

Chisong’s (2) my companion,
With Xianmen (3) I am friends –
I learn to nurture my spirit with the Tao that transcends.

My food’s the immortal’s lingzhi (4),
My drink’s from fragrant springs,
My staff is made of laurel, and on my head an orchid ring.

No mortal affairs or troubles,
No limits to where I go,
As swift as the wind blows in the universe I travel.

Though the shadow has moved not,
A thousand miles I’ve passed --
Ageless as the mountains but forgetting not the past.

(1) Kunlun Mountain: the legendary abode of immortals in the physical world.
(2) Chisong: an immortal in Chinese myths
(3) Xianmen: another immortal in myths
(4) Lingzhi: traditionally considered to be an herb that gives immortality, this mushroom is considered food for the gods. Often known by its Japanese name, reishi.

Isn't Cao Cao such an interesting character? Just as you think you have a handle on this ruthless, idealistic politician who's probably sensitive to the people's distress deep down, he comes up with a fantasy poem. :?