Full Moon! How long have you hung there?


 
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東破 Dongpo's camera hand was a bit shaky....

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蘇軾

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Full Moon! How long have you hung there?
*****Su Shi
To the meter of 'Water Melody':

"On the Mid Autumn Moon Festival of Bingchen*,
1076, I drank until dawn. Dead drunk I wrote this
piece sending my love to Ziyou (My brother)"

Full Moon! How long have you hung there?
Hoisting my mug I ask the bright heaven,
Tonight in Heaven's Imperial Palace,
I wonder what year it is.
I crave to mount the wind and soar there,
But fear those jade halls
So lofty, bitter cold and lonely.
I get up to dance, romp with my bright shadow,
Heavenly ecstacy, not of this world!

We circle crimson tower,
Duck under brocade curtain.
Too bright to sleep,
Impossible to mind.
But why is it always full when we're parted?
Man has his ups and downs,
The moon also waxes and wanes.
This has always been so.
I only wish us long lives,
Across a thousands miles sharing the same moon.
 
Míngyuè Jǐshí Yǒu
Shuǐ Diào Ge Tí
Bǐngchén zhōngqiū huān yǐn dádàn
dàzuì zuò cǐ jiān huái Zǐyóu

Míng yuè jǐshí yǒu?
Bǎ jiǔ wèn qīngtiān
Bùzhī tiān shàng gōng guān
Jīnxī shì hé nián?
Wǒ yù chéng fēng guīqù
Wéi kǒng qióng lóu yù zì
Gāo chù bù shèng hán
Qǐ wǔ nòng qīng yǐng
hé cǐ zài rén jiān?
Zhuǎn zhū gé dī qǐ hù
zhào wú mián bù yīng yǒu hèn
Hé shì cháng xiàng bié shí yuán?
Rén yǒu bēihuānlíhé
Yuè yǒu yīn qíng yuán quē
Cǐ shì gǔ nán quán
dànyuàn rén cháng jiǔ
qiān lǐ gòng chán juān

 
Translator: Dongbo 東波

Notes:
*53rd year of the Sixty year cycle (Sexagenary Cycle)

This lyric was written in 1075 while Su Shi was
magistrate of Mizhou. Ziyou is Su's younger brother. (Take a look at Li Bo's poem 月下獨酌, Solitary Moonlight Drunk)

The pop version of Dongpo's famous poem is sung by Faye
Wong (王菲) a pop star originally from Beijing. I'm not sure
Dongpo would like this rendition of his lyric, but at least it
shows how his verse lives on in today's China!

On the other hand, Su does talk about his poems being
suitable for singing. In Stuart Sargents's MWSS he writes;

We assume that poems (shi) by the 11th century were
'chanted' rather than 'sung', but we begin to waver in this
belief when we read:........ 'My poem can be sung, let it
accompany the notes of your Oar Song.' So perhaps
Su would just smile happily and enjoy the culture shock.










 
 
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