Flower not Flower by Bai Ju Yi (translation)

another gem translated by Mary Tang on her blog Life is But This

Life is But This 命

I remember singing the words of Bai Ju Yi’s poem ‘Flower not Flower’ when I was at school.  It was set as lyrics to a tune.  Although there is much speculation about the meaning of this poem and stories abound regarding the intrigue, I believe the reader must apply herself to the task of deciphering its meaning.  Here I have translated this Tang Dynasty Chinese poem into English:

Flower not Flower by Bai Ju Yi (772 – 846)

Like a flower but not a flower

Like a mist but not a mist

Comes in the dead of night

Goes in the light of day

Enters like a dream in Spring its stay too short

Withdraws like a cloud at dawn without a trace

(c) Mary Tang 鄧許文蘭 2017

花非花。白居易

花非花,霧非霧,夜半來,天明去。

來如春夢不多時,去似朝雲無覓處。

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