About this blog...
In July 2016 a friend introduced me to Andrew Wong's (黃宏發 ) blog "Classical Chinese Poems in English" (http://chinesepoemsinenglish.blogspot.sg/). It was in connection with some discussion he had with some friends concerning the poem by Yue Fei 岳飛: 滿江紅. Since then I have been visiting this blog and often couldn't resist having a go myself in translating a poem or two. The creation of this simple blog is for me to deposit my translations, done very much as a pastime. I hope you enjoy Andrew's painstaking work and my less serious translations.
PS - The only English translation I refer to is Andrew Wong's, unless otherwise stated. So any resemblance to other translations is purely coincidental. My translations try to keep the full meaning of all the words/phrases/clauses and imagery of the original, although the reader might not find exactly corresponding translations for each.
PS2 - I am also adding my translations of interesting poems other than those found in Andrew Wong's blog.

Jan 19, 2020

李清照 Li Qingzhao: 蝶恋花 (暖雨晴风初破冻)

 1   暖雨晴風初破凍
 2   柳眼梅腮
 3   已覺春心動
 4   酒意詩情誰與共
 5   淚融殘粉花鈿重

 6   乍試夾衫金縷縫
 7   山枕斜欹
 8   枕損釵頭鳳
 9   獨抱濃愁無好夢
10 夜闌猶剪燈花弄

Butterflies Love Flowers

  1  The first warm showers and breezes break winter's cold,
  2  Willows’ buds and plum blossoms,
  3  The palpable stirrings of spring.
  4  With whom to share my yearning for wine and poesy?
  5  In tears my makeup melts, the headdress feels heavy.

 6  I try my new overcoat braided with golden threads,
 7  Then lying on a tilted pillow,
 8  My phoenix hairpin is ruined.
 9  Alone in sorrow dreary dreams embrace with no respite;
10  Still trimming the candle, hoping, deep in the night.

 1   Nuǎn yǔqíng fēng chū pò dòng
 2   liǔ yǎn méi sāi
 3   yǐ jué chūn xīndòng
 4   jiǔyì shīqíng shuí yǔ gòng
 5   lèi róng cán fěn huā diàn zhòng

 6   zhà shì jiā shān jīn lǚ fèng
 7   shān zhěn xié yī
 8   zhěn sǔn chāi tóu fèng
 9   dú bào nóng chóu wú hǎo mèng
10 yèlán yóu jiǎn dēnghuā nòng

The rhyme scheme of the original is AXAAA, AXAAA but I am unable to follow the same rhyme in my translation.
Line 2: 柳眼 refers to the budding shoots of the willow leaves. 梅腮 refers to the crown of the plum flower, so it is simply translated as plum blossoms.
Line 5: 花鈿 refers to headdress of flowers.
Line 6: 夾衫 a double layered overcoat.
Line 7: 山枕 refers to the pillows of olden days that are curved up at both ends, like hills (hence 山).
Line 10: 夜闌 means late in the night. 燈花 is the candle's wick, and alludes to the saying 灯花报喜, and the allusion is made clear with the word 'hoping' in my translation.

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