2019 推句 01 - 04

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Original Script

::: 推句 :::

1.

天高日月明이요

地厚草木生이라.

月出天開眼이요

山高地擧頭라.


3.

春來梨花白이요

夏至樹葉靑이라

秋涼黃菊發이요

冬寒白雪來라.


4.

日月千年鏡이요

江山萬古屛이라.

東西日月門이요

南北鴻雁路라.


Translation

Poem 1 : Olga


The sky is high; the sun and moon are bright.
The earth is thick; herbs and trees are born from it.
The moon rises - the sky opens its eye.
The mountains are tall - the land lifts its head.


  • Discussion Questions:

1. Should 天 be consistently translated as Heaven, sky or from case to case as one or the other?
(YO) I think it should be okay to alternate 'sky' and 'heaven' depending on the context, perhaps 'sky' for more material sense of it. Any thought?

2. In the last line could we take a liberty to say "the mountains are standing tall" to make a sentence structure parallel to the one in line three?
(YO) I'd be okay with it. For the second line, by the way, would it be "herbs and trees are born from it" or on it?
(Stella) I like the sound of 'from it' because it emphasizes the the fact that the earth, with its thickness, is the source of the plants' nourishment, rather than simply their location.
(YO) Aha! That's a good reason.

Poem 3 : Ethan


Spring comes, pear tree flowers are white.

Summer arrives, tree leaves are green.

Fall is cool, yellow chrysanthemums bloom.

Winter is cold, white snow comes.

  • Discussion Questions:

1. Should we include the particle the ? What about state of being verbs and the preposition when (i.e. "when spring comes...")? What effect does not including/including these words have? Which do you think is a closer approximation to the source text?
(YO) The issue of the definite article "the" is not easy. Native speakers generally have different opinions about using it. Not being a native speaker of English, I can't make a trustworthy judgment. (Can anybody jump in?) As for the conjunctive "when," you're right, the original text does not have it in the literal sense. So, you may have to ask yourself, which--adding it or not, or adding something else--would render the line better.

2. What are your thoughts on word choice in differentiating verbs––來 vs. 至 in first couplet and 涼 vs. 寒 in second couplet––particularly in terms of parallel structure of the two couplets? </br>

(YO) I'd look for a pair of words that hold similar kind of synonymy between them, so that it would convey a comparable variation.

Poem 4 : Canan


Sun and moon, mirror of 100000 years

River and mountain, 100000 ancients of folding screens

East and west are doors of sun and moon

South and north are the path of wild geese.


  • Discussion Questions:

Is the Mirror 100000 years old? Or is it reflecting 100000 years?

NA: I want to say that the mirror is 100,000 years old because as we know (un-poetically) the sun and moon have been around longer than the rivers and mountains on earth so I think that could mean that this mirror is that old but there is potentially other mirrors that have existed before this one.
(YO) The mirror has to be at least 10000 years old in order to reflect 10000 years, right? If so, logically speaking, translating it "mirrors reflecting 10000 years" would entail that they are 10000 years old. Also, I think this 10000 years must be human time (or even human civilization) as opposed to the universal time--to which perhaps the sun and moon belong.