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Re: Translation exercise: Li Bai's "Drinking alone under the moon"

From:J Y S Czhang <czhang23@...>
Date:Monday, August 26, 2002, 17:12
In a message dated 08/25/2002 12.06.40 PM, trwier@UCHICAGO.EDU writes:

>One of my favorite poems by Li Bai is the following, which >I've decided to use to build my Phaleran vocabulary and >to develop a sense of how Phaleran poetics is fashioned.
<SNiP> ::duly impressed:: Niceness of choice...
>Unfortunately, I broke the cardinal rule of translating: >translating from a translation.
Who did _that_ translation, 0_o? Ol' Ezra Pound? or wiley Arthur Waley? or ... IMHO it looks to be a tiny bit "over-translated" and somewhat "clunky" (but, thankfully, not "kludgy") by Chinese poetic aesthetics.
>But alas! I have not yet learnt Classical Chinese, so my translation will
>to stand as is until that time. <SNiP>
LOL. Neither have I. Though I love a bit of Classical Chinese poetry - via good English translations (i.e. Wai-Lim Yip) - & admire Classical Chinese syntax, I also have an abiding "primitivist" interest in Archaic Chinese syntax as well. This kinda influences my interest in pidgins and creoles... and in some 20th Century poetry of linguistic "rupture." - from the _Tao Te Ching_ /_Daodejing_ (from the excellent translation by Jonathan Star) The Way that becomes a way is not the Immortal Way the name that becomes a name is not the Immortal Name the maiden of Heaven and Earth has no name the mother of all things has a name thus in innocence we see the beginning in passion we see the end two different names for one and the same the one we call dark the dark beyond dark the door to all beginnings €º°`°º€ø,¸¸,ø€º°`°º€ø,¸¸,ø€º°`°º€ø,¸¸,ø€º°`°º€ø,¸¸,ø€º°`°º€€º°`°º€ø,¸~-> Hanuman Zhang, 3-Toed-Sloth-Style Gungfu Typist ;) "the sloth is a chinese poet upsidedown" --- Jack Kerouac {1922-69} -------------------------------------------------- "There is no reason for the poet to be limited to words, and in fact the poet is most poetic when inventing languages. Hence the concept of the poet as 'language designer'." --- O. B. Hardison, Jr. "La poésie date d' aujour d'hui." (Poetry dates from today) "La poésie est en jeu." (Poetry is in play) --- Blaise Cendrars "...Poetry is perhaps the only insurance we've got against the vulgarity of the human heart..." ~ Joseph Brodsky


Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>