20 February 2008

孟浩然 Meng Haoran: 春曉 A Morning in Spring

POSTSCRIPT 2 (24.9.2017):

Revisiting my 2008 rendition, I have decided to revise it as follows:-

Meng Haoran (689-740): A morning in Spring

1  In spring I sleep unaware morning is here;
2  From far and near, trilling songbirds I hear.
3  In the night's pitter patter of wind and rain,
4  How many flowers fallen? Not few, I fear.

Translated by Andrew W.F. Wong (Huang Hongfa)  譯者: 黃宏發
12th February 2008 (revised 14.2.08; 18.2.08; 22.2.08; 24.4.08; 24.9.2017)

POSTSCRIPT 1 (24.4.2008):

Now, further back to my February 2008 post, I have now decided to revert to the onomatopoeiac word "pitter-patter" in line 3 of "A Morning in Spring" by Meng Haoran (689-740), thus:-

1  In spring I sleep unaware morning is here,
2  From near then far, trilling songbirds I hear.
3  In the night's pitter-pattering of winds and rains,
4  How many blossoms fallen? Not few, I fear!

Notes:-
* I am grateful to Lily Yam Kwan who urged me to reconsider "In the din of".
*Line 1: I have deleted the two commas in the line.

ORIGINAL POST (12.2.2008)

I have just finished translating Meng Haoran's "A Morning in Spring" and wish to share it with you the soonest. Here we go. I will post my other finished poems later.

Meng Haoran (689-740):  A Morning in Spring

1  In spring, I sleep, unaware morning is here,
2  From near then far, trilling songbirds I hear;
3  In the night's pitter-patter of winds and rains though mild,
4  How many fallen petals? Know not, I fear!

Translated by Andrew W.F. Wong (Huang Hongfa)     譯者: 黃宏發
12 February 2008
Translated from the original - 孟浩然:  春曉

1  春眠不覺曉
2  處處聞啼鳥
3  夜來風雨聲
4  花落知多少

Notes:
Line 2: I had considered using "chirping", "cheeping" or "singing" but decided "trilling" is best. (12.2.2008)
Line 3: I had considered "In the din of the wind and rain all night last night," which means the night was stormy, but dicided to adopt the gentle spring showers interpretation of "In the night's pitter-patter of winds and rains so mild". (18.2.2008) I have now decided to use "though" instead of "so". The line now reads "In the night's pitter-patter of winds and rains though mild" and the poem above has been accordingly modified. (22.2.2008)
Line 4: I had originally ended the poem with "None knows! Oh dear!" but have now decided to end it with "Know not, I fear!". An alternative is "Not few, I fear!" which cleverly covers 少 but misses 知. (14.2.2008)
The poet's name should be Meng Haoran, not Meng Haoren. This is now rectified. (22.2.2008)