a lovely translation of a Su Shi poem by Mary Tang on her blog Life is But This
Water Song is a poetic form that accompanies a set musical structure: 95 characters of two sections, nine and ten lines respectively, each with 4 end rhymes. The characters are arranged in a set tonal sequence.
Many Chinese poets have used this structure as the basis of their work: think sonnets. My English translation does not conform to the Chinese rules due to my lack of scholarship. I am but a bilingual poet who wishes to share her love of poetry in her native tongue. I enjoy translating but I loath writing notes so this long-winded one is an exception. I apologise for imposing it on readers who just want to read a poem.
This poem was written in 1076: Su Shi (Su Dong Po 蘇東坡) had prefaced it with a date and remarked that it was mid autumn (when families gather) and he was missing his brother (whom he…
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