2018 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.


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 : Petra Sváková


天高日月明이요

地厚草木生이라.

月出天開眼이요

山高地擧頭라.


The sky is high and the sun and the moon are bright,

the earth is thick and the plants and the trees are born [from it].

The moon comes out, the sky opens its eye,

the mountains are high, the earth raises its head.


  • Discussion Questions:

+(YO) There is no "stars" in the first line; In the second line, it could also be "...live [on it]," couldn't it?

+(YO) For lines 3 and 4, would it be better if we make it something like: "The moon comes out; the sky opens its eye"? (Without the connecting "and".)

Poem 4 : Jelena Gledić


Sun and moon, the mirrors of the ages[1],
Rivers and mountains, the folding screens of the eons[2].
East and West, the gates of the sun and moon,
South and North, the paths of migratory birds[3].

  • Discussion Questions:

+ How can the representations of earthly (rivers and mountains) and heavenly (sun and moon) phenomena given in the first two lines be interpreted through the following angles:
a) the use of different words to denote long time periods, one seemingly longer than the other?
b) the use of two different verbs, one indicating a reflected image and one a painting or a backdrop?

+ Based on the example given in the last line, please discuss the different options for translating culturally specific synecdoches and the pros and cons of each possible solution.


  1. Literally, thousands of years (千年)
  2. Literally, immeasurable antiquity (萬古)
  3. The term used literally denotes the swan goose (鴻雁, lat. Anser cygnoides), but here it is a synecdoche common in literature written in Classic Chinese indicating all migratory birds.