Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday poem: 水調歌頭


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.