Winter Plum (a slightly more faithful translation)

The original, with Andrew Griffin’s literal translation, is at the bottom.

Winter Plum

The mountain wind startles half the flowers
on your branches into bursting open.

How long have you stood at the edge of this cliff
alone in your crooked beauty?

No trace of our red dust* can touch
or stir you up here on your lofty perch.

But your fragrance drifts down
across endless miles, clings to everything.

寒 梅。[winter plum]

岫风惊绽半枝花 [mountain wind startles bursting-open half branch flower]

伫立悬崖独自佳 [stand and wait for a long time precipice of cliff alone beautiful one]

不恋红尘风傲骨 [not yearn for this mortal world* attitude of lofty unyielding spirit (proud bone)]

香飘万里迹无涯 [fragrance floats 10,000 Chinese miles (li) trace/track without limit]

*“Hong chen—red dust (the society, the world)” is the  usage of Buddhism and Taoism and it refers to the material or secular world. —Huang Qiang, A Study on the Metaphor of “Red” in Chinese Culture.

About John MacKenzie

I'll mumble for ya. Poetry, plus most things quantifiable: science, neuroscience, memory, epistemology, baseball. And so on.
This entry was posted in Andrew Griffin, Art is lies, Art is theft, Chinese poetry, John MacKenzie, Plum Blossoms, Poem tweets, Poetry, Recent poems, The Wind, Time, Winter and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Winter Plum (a slightly more faithful translation)

  1. Pingback: Frost Chrysanthemums (Chinese poetry) | Mumbling Jack

  2. Pingback: Secluded Orchid (stolen Chinese poetry) | Mumbling Jack

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