Frost Chrysanthemums (Chinese poetry)

Ursa Major

Another old Chinese poem. Again, no idea who the author was. And again, worked from a literal translation by Andrew Griffin, which is below the poem.

Frost Chrysanthemums

In one night the autumn wind split open all
the seams of bright yellow chrysanthemums

Now they’re everywhere, bustling along
back lanes and streets in luxuriant crowds

All night in the cold their graceful bodies
tremble for elegant new crystals of frost

Always watching the great bear lazing out of the east
inhaling their scent, and already dreaming of spring

霜 菊 [frost(ing/ed) chrysanthemum]

秋风一夜绽菊黄 [autumn wind one night burst-open/split at the seam chrysanthemum yellow]

纵横阡陌洒蕊忙 [criss-crossed/everywhere path/street sprinkled luxuriant bustling]

露宿寒霜身飘逸 [to spend the night outdoors cold/tremble frost body elegant/graceful]

不负东篱梦芬芳 [not turn-one’s-back-on/bear east/host/landlord fence dream fragran(t/ce)]

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, Autumn, Chinese poetry, John MacKenzie, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Spring, The Sky, The Wind, Time, Winter and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Frost Chrysanthemums (Chinese poetry)

  1. tankawanka says:

    John, this is beautiful especially since I completely misled you the word-by-word. I should have made it that word men “to bear” or “to turn one’s back on.”

    Like

  2. tankawanka says:

    John, this is beautiful especially since I completely misled you with the word-by-word. I should have made it clear that word means “to bear” or “to turn one’s back on.”

    Like

  3. John MacKenzie says:

    Fortuitous miscommunication, then! I’m glad it happened—gives me an excuse to do another version.

    Like

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

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