Crossing The Pass Is Hard


 
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Sunrise over Zhennanguan

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丁儒完







Crossing The Pass Is Hard
        Dinh Nho Hoan 1671-1716

The talent to write poetry is not easy or difficult to obtain,
I will avoid no hardships 
        in carrying this letter over a myriad leagues.
Most of the days in our hundred years are bitter,
But each day after crossing the pass is truly difficult. 
 
Guòguānnán
Dīng Rúwán 1671 1716

Shī huá jī wú yì wú nán,
Wànlǐ xián jiān gǎn bìnàn.
Rén bǎinián shēn duō kǔ rí,
Guòguān yī rí shífén nàn.
 
Translator: Liam Kelley 翻譯者

Notes:
Not all Vietnamese envoy poets looked forward with enthusiasm to their long arduous trip from Hanoi to the court in Peking!

From Liam Kelley's fascinating study of Vietnamese envoy poetry, Beyond the Bronze Pillars, Envoy Poetry And The Sino-Vietnamese Relationship, University of Hawaii Press, 2005

 
 
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