Monday, December 5, 2011

Du Fu's "In Honor of My Retired Friend, Wei"

Translation

By Du Fu (712-770 AD)
杜甫
In Honor of My Retired Friend, Wei
贈衛八處士


- 1 -



So much of our lives—
we haven’t seen each other

人生
不相見
Moving as
two different stars

動如
參與
Now this night
we meet again—
and what a night!

今夕
何夕
Together at last,
by the candle light.
共此
燈燭光


- 2 -



We were young and strong
and how many seasons have past?

少壯
幾時
Now the temple hair
on each of us
has already grown gray

鬢髮
已蒼
And he inquires after former friends—
but half of them
have turned to ghosts

訪舊
為鬼
So we cry,
intestines knotting inside.

驚呼
熱中腸


- 3 -



When did I know
that twenty years
had gone by—

焉知
二十
Before I could call again
on that place where you reside?

重上
君子堂
When we parted last
you were not married yet

昔別
君未婚
But now, sons and daughters
make a line on my sudden visit

兒女
忽成行
Happy and joyful
they greet their father’s friend

怡然
敬父執
And ask of me—
from where I came

問我
來何方
The questions and answers
haven’t finished yet

問答
乃未已
When you charge your son
to gather the wine

驅兒
羅酒漿


- 4 -



From the night rain,
spring chives are cut—

夜雨
剪春韭
In a meal that’s freshly cooked
and mixed with yellow grain

新炊
My friend praises
the difficult
reunion

主稱

And in one toast
we gather up
ten goblets of wine—

一舉
十觴
And ten drinks later,
still not drunk,

十觴
亦不醉
I appreciate
our ancient friendship
forever

感子
故意
Tomorrow
we part
across the mountains

明日
山岳
And life and the world
are boundless and obscure
世事
兩茫茫

Original Chinese

Traditional
Simplified
Pronunciation



杜甫
杜甫
Dù Fǔ
贈衛八處士
赠卫
Zèng Wèi bā chǔ shì



人生不相見,
人生不相
Rén shēng // bù xiāng jiàn,
動如參與商,
如参与商,
Dòng rú // cān yù shāng,
今夕復何夕?
今夕何夕?
Jīn xī // fù hé xī?
共此燈燭光。
共此灯光。
Gòng cǐ // dēng zhú guāng.



少壯能幾時?
少壮能几
Shào zhuàng // néng jǐ shí?
鬢髮各已蒼。
鬓发各已
Bìn fà // gè yǐ cāng.
訪舊半為鬼,
访旧半鬼,
Fǎng jiù // bàn wéi guǐ,
驚呼熱中腸。
惊呼
Jīng hū // rè zhòng cháng.



焉知二十載,
焉知二十
Yān zhī // èr shí zài,
重上君子堂。
重上君子堂。
Chóng shàng // jūn zǐ táng.
昔別君未婚,
君未婚,
Xī bié // jūn wèi hūn,
兒女忽成行;
儿女忽成行;
Ér nǚ // hū chéng xíng;
怡然敬父執,
怡然敬父
Yí rán // jìng fù zhí,
問我來何方。
我来何方。
Wèn wǒ // lái hé fāng.
問答乃未已,
答乃未已,
Wèn dá // nǎi wèi yǐ,
驅兒羅酒漿。
Qū er // luō jiǔ jiāng.



夜雨剪春韭,
夜雨剪春韭,
Yè yǔ // jiǎn chūn jiǔ,
新炊間粱。
新炊黄粱。
Xīn chuī // jiān huáng liáng.
主稱會麵難,
主称会面
Zhǔ chēng // huì miàn nán,
一舉纍十觴;
累十;
Yī jǔ // lèi shí shāng;
十觴亦不醉,
亦不醉,
Shí shāng // yì bù zuì,
感子故意長。
感子故意
Gǎn zi // gùyì zhǎng.
明日隔山岳,
明日隔山岳,
Míng rì // gé shān yuè,
世事兩茫茫。
世事两茫茫。
Shì shì // liǎng máng máng.

Literal

Stop Prevent (Du Fu 712-770 AD)
杜甫
Bestow/confer protect eight/all-around place/reside-in/situated scholar/gentleman/minister (protect = Wei, a surname)
贈衛八處士


- 1 -



Person/someone-else life no each-other see [person life = human life] [each-other see = to see each other]
人生不相見,
Happen/use/act as participate give Shang [participate give = participate in; Shang Dynasty = 16th to 11th BC]
動如參與商,
Now night resume what night
今夕復何夕?
Together this lantern candle light
共此燈燭光。


- 2 -



Young strong able how-many seasons [how-many + seasons = what time? when?]
少壯能幾時?
Temple-hair hair each already gray
鬢髮各已蒼。
Visit/inquire past/former half become ghosts
訪舊半為鬼,
Frighten/startle breathe-sigh hot/restless middle intestines/emotions [Frighten + breathe-sigh = cry out in alarm; hot middle = to be fond of]
驚呼熱中腸。


- 3 -



Where/how aware two ten (20) fill-up
焉知二十載,
Again go-up you offspring main-hall [you offspring = nobleman]
重上君子堂。
Former-times separate/parted you not-yet married
昔別君未婚,
Son girl suddenly complete travel [son girl = sons and daughters; complete travel = embark on a journey]
兒女忽成行;
Pleasure certainly respect/salute father grasp [pleasure certainly = happy/joyful]
怡然敬父執,
Ask my come what region [what region = where?]
問我來何方。
Ask answer thereupon not-yet finished
問答乃未已,
Spur son collect wine liquid [wine liquid = wine]
驅兒羅酒漿。


- 4 -



Night rain cut/trim spring scallions
夜雨剪春韭,
Fresh cook/meal between yellow grain/millet
新炊間粱。
Host praise reunion noodles difficult
主稱會麵難,
One raise/lift-up join ten wine-goblets [one raise = in one move]
一舉纍十觴;
Ten wine-goblets also not drunk/intoxicated
十觴亦不醉,
Feel seed-of ancient opinion forever [ancient opinion = deliberately/on purpose]
感子故意長。
Bright day separate mountain mountain-peak [bright day = tomorrow; mountain mountain-peak = mountain]
明日隔山岳,
World affairs both vast boundless/obscure [world affairs = affairs of life / things of the world]
世事兩茫茫。

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