2018 推句 21 - 30

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Original Script

::: 推句 :::

22.

花落憐不掃요

月明愛無眠이라.

月作雲間鏡이요

風爲竹裡琴이라.


24.

歲去人頭白이요

秋來樹葉黃이라.

雨後山如沐이요

風前草似醉라.


30.

細雨池中看이요

微風木末知라.

花笑聲未聽이요

鳥啼淚難看이라.


Translation

Sentence 22 : (Althea Volpe)


Flowers fall and you are sadden by it and do not sweep them up

The moon is bright and your love [for it] doesn’t make you sleep

Moon rises among the clouds and makes the sight of a mirror

The wind becomes like zither inside bamboos.

  • Discussion Questions:

+ (YO) Line 1: "you are sadden by it and do not sweep them up."
Also in Line 4, it would be "zither inside the bamboo". But I wonder if it is zither inside a bamboo or zither inside bamboos (i.e., bamboo forest)".
+ I changed the translation with the corrections and I personally prefer the version "inside bamboos" because it gives me a sense of zither's sound diffusion.
(YO) Good reason!

Sentence 24 : (Fran)


The years pass and people's heads turn white.
Autumn comes and the foliage turns yellow.
After the rain the mountains seem bathed.
Before the wind the grasses appear drunk.


  • Discussion Questions:

+ I just decided to leave the ambiguity of 風前. Poetry is meant to be polysemic.
(YO) Yes, I agree.

Sentence 30 : (Kyrie)


One sees a fine rain in the middle of a pond.

One knows a slight breeze from the tips of trees.

The sounds of laughing flowers are not heard.

The tears of crying birds are difficult to see.

  • Discussion Questions:

(Fran) It's interesting that you translated this poem into the active voice. It raises an interesting question about wanting to avoid the passive voice--something that I also raised in another passage. But the original poem here seems to be rendered in the passive: 細雨池中看 might be "The fine rain is seen in the middle of the pond." I wonder if it's important or not to keep that voice (if in fact I'm right about the Chinese actually being in passive voice).

(Kyrie) Does the original poem seem to be in the passive voice because the verb appears at the end of the line?
(YO) This is very interesting! The question is whether we should or could the first couplet as passive (as Fran suggested and as we did in class) or active voice (as Kyrie translated). Can we take a sentence as passive, as a rule, if the verb is at the end, after other items? Is it what prompted us to take it as passive? (A V B: "A V-es B"; A B V: "For A, B is V-ed" or "A is V-ed in B" -- E.g. 吾買市 “I bought the market"; 吾市買 “I bought (something) at the market.") To say my instinct first, yes, I think it is often the case. In this particular case, 細雨池中看; 微風木末知, there is no specific reason NOT to write 細雨看池中; 微風知木末 (i.e., A V B pattern), though it may be better rendered "Fine rain looks at the middle of the pond; Slight wind knows the tips of the trees." Of course, one can suggest semantic plausibility (that is, rain and wind are inanimate agents and are not capable of seeing or knowing) but semantic plausibility is an arbitrary standard and literature often defies such standards. I think what is behind using A B V pattern is to overpopulate the space before the verb (A and B, instead of just A) so that the reader has to distribute the syntactic roles (if one is the subject then the other is the object, adverb, or a topic). In this couplet, 池中 and 木末 can either be noun phrases or place-adverbials; 看 and 知 are transitive verbs that expect objects.