Someone asked me to translate the poem “聲聲慢” from “李清照”.  I want to say that it is extremely difficult to translate her poems or any of the Chinese poems.  It is never easy to capture the essence of the poem and to portray the beauty of the original poem through translation.  My translation is based on the interpretation from the link below.  http://itpth.foruto.com/cgi-bin/CIntr.cgi?action=read&TID=73&SID=33206  By the way, I still don’t know how to translate the title of this poem. 

  

Just for your amusement. 

 

李清照 <聲聲慢>

尋尋覓覓,冷冷清清,淒淒慘慘戚戚。
乍暖還寒時候,最難將息。
三杯兩盞淡酒,怎敵他,晚來風急?
雁過也,正傷心,卻是舊時相識。

滿地黃花堆積。憔悴損,如今有誰堪摘?
守著窗兒,獨自怎生得黑?
梧桐更兼細雨,到黃昏,點點滴滴。
者次第,怎一個,愁字了得! 

 

Translation by Elisa English on 7/22/10   

All rights reserved

 

Chant of Languor

 

I seek and search

Within sight is such loneliness and desolation

Unbearable is my emotion

Filled with agony, misery and wrench

In these erratically alternating warm and cool days

 

At night, the wind is gusting

Excruciating is my suffering

How can a couple glasses of wine dispel?

 

I watch the geese flying by

That sense of nostalgia I cannot deny

How depressed!

To see these geese from my past.

 

Yellow flowers scatter

Like I, away they pine and shatter

Who can bear to pluck them now?

 

I sit alone by the window, watching

Gut-wrenching

How can I endure till nightfall?

 

As twilight grizzles

The rain drizzles

Splashing and splattering

onto the Chinese parasol

So disconsolate

How can the word “melancholy” delineate!

 

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