Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday poem: 水調歌頭

人有悲歡離合,
月有陰晴圓缺,
此事古難全。
但願人長久,
千里共嬋娟

This is the last verse of a famous poem by Song Dynasty poet, Su Shi (1036-1011 AD).  I did my own translation a few years ago by asking my friend to read the poem to me in Cantonese and Mandarin (so I could hear the music of it) and then explaining the meaning.  The poem features in my play Lantern, on this week in Auckland.

Happiness and sadness comes for us in parts
The moon sometimes clear
                 sometimes clouded
                 sometimes swelling
                 sometimes declining
Since time began, it's been that way.

All we can hope for is life enough to see
that though a thousand leagues apart,
we all look on the same moon.
 

5 comments:

Kathleen Jones said...

Love this!

Helen McKinlay said...

It's magic. Thanks for sharing it.

Helen McKinlay said...

It's magic. Thanks for sharing it.

Mary McCallum said...

yes, magic - and I love how to worked out how to translate it, Renee

Aline Parrone Halpin said...

"That although thousands of leagues apart
we all look at the same moon"

So agree. So my feelings too, not just a few times. Especially with all my family and friends scattered around the world. Thats why I love the moon, its unifying in its own small way.