The Gorgeous Zither

The Gorgeous Zither

By Li Shang-yin (Tang Dynasty)

The Gorgeous zither has fifty strings.

Each string, each fret recalls a youthful year.

Master Zhuang woke from a dream puzzled by a butterfly.

Emporer Wang reposed his amorous heart to the cuckoo.

The moon shines on the sea pearls look like tears.

The sun is warm at Lantian the jade emits mist

This feeling might have become a memory to recall

But even then, it was already suggestive of sorrow.

锦瑟

[]李商隐

锦瑟无端五十弦,一弦一柱思华年。

庄生晓梦迷蝴蝶,望帝春心托杜鹃。

沧海月明珠有泪,蓝田日暖玉生烟。

此情可待成追忆,只是当时已惘然

我试着翻译成英文,但当看到杨宪益、戴乃迭夫妇的译文时就决定放弃了。细细琢磨,杨,戴的译文真正做到了“信达雅”。

我尤其喜欢“望帝春心托杜鹃”中的字译为“repose”.因为repose除了寄托,托付,还有安息的意思。和望帝化魂化子规的故事相暗合。有的译本用“entrust”,我认为远远没有repose来的贴切。

 

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