Memories of the South


 
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Hangzhou spring blossoms

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Memories of the South
Bai Juyi 772-846
I
The beauty of the South!
Once I was familiar with all its sights and sounds.
At sunrise, river flowers redder than flame,
In spring, river waters the blue of indigo.
Can I help remembering the South?

  II
Memories of the South!
Most fondly I remember Hangzhou.
Visiting temples in the hills
         in quest of cassia seeds dropped from the moon;
Watching the Tidal Bore
     from my pillow in the pavilion of my office.
When shall I ever revisit Hangzhou?

III
Memories of the South!
Next I recall the stately mansions of Wu.
A cup of fine Wu vintage--
     The color of spring bamboo leaf;
Wu damsels dancing in pairs--
     Lotus blossoms flushed with wine.
When shall I meet them again?

                                   ― Tr. Jiaosheng Wang
 
Yì Jiāngnán
Bái Jūyì 772-846

 Jiāngnán hǎo,
Fēngjǐng jiù céng ān:
Rì chū jiāng huā hóng shèng huǒ,
Chūn lái jiāngshuǐ lǜ rú lán.
Néng bú yì Jiāngnán?

 Jiāngnán yì,
Zuì yì shì Hángzhōu:
Shān sì yuè zhōng xún guìzǐ,
Jùn tíng zhěn shàng kàn cháo tóu.
Hérì gèng chóng yóu? 

Jiāngnán yì,
Qícì yì Wú gōng:
Wú jiǔ yī bēi chūn zhú yè,
Wú wá shuāng wǔ zuì fúróng.
Zǎo wǎn fù xiāng féng.
 
Translator: Charles Q. Wu 吳千之

Notes:
Translated as "the South" here, the Chinese geographic name "Jiangnan" literally means "South of the River." Specifically it refers to the Yangtze delta with the twin cities of Suzhou and Hangzhou as its crown jewels.

 
 
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