Overlooking Dongting Lake--For Prime Minister Zhang


 
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孟浩然















Overlooking Dongting Lake--For Prime Minister Zhang
Meng Haoran 689-740 

In September the lake is so flat
The great hollow joins the celestial void
Vapors rise from Cloud Dream Marsh
The waves rock Yueyang walls
But there's no boat to take me across
And retirement is shameful in a golden age
Sitting watching other people fish
To covet their catch is vain
 
Lín Dōngtínghú Zèng Zhāng Chéngxiàng

Mèng Hàorán 689-740

Bāyuè húshuǐ píng,
Hán xū hùn tài qīng.
Qìzhēng Yúnmèng zé,
Bō hàn Yuèyángchéng.
Yù jì wú zhōují,
Duānjū chǐ shèngmíng.
Zuòguān chuídiàozhě,
Tú yǒu xiàn yú qíng.
 
Translator: Red Pine-Bill Porter 赤松

Notes:
From the book Poems of the Masters, China's Classic Anthology of Tang and Song Dynasty verse. One of the best, if not "the best", books of general translations of Chinese poetry. Wonderfully detailed notes on each poem and all poems are displayed in the original Chinese.

Translated by Red Pine, published by Copper Canyon Press.

 
 
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