LI BAI , WINE IS NOW SERVED. ( A DOUBLE TRANSLATION)

A few years ago I have translated the above poem from classical Chinese into English. Mdm. Liu May Wong, translated my English into modern Chinese. Please take it as a literary game. The strange admission is I am not Chinese educated, and she is not well versed in English – a kind of “half baked” in our language proficiencies. However, for some readers, it may not be a bad idea to read her “modern” Chinese version, before you read the original, as long as the readers do not have the habit of making comparisons.
In March 2013, Li Bai’s hometown, Jiangu, Sichuan, held a poetry recital of this famous Tang (701 -762 AD) poet. BBC called him “China’s drunken superstar poet”. This post is mainly to arouse interest for some readers, whether Chinese or non Chinese.

WINE WILL BE SERVED
李白将進酒

Have you not seen,
你沒見到,
The downpour into the Yellow River, a heavenly scene,
那傾盆大雨落滴黃河裡,如天堂般的景色,
Its torrent gushes into the ocean,
其洪流湧進茫茫的大海,
And the return stream not reckon.
料想不復流.
(Have you not seen)
(你沒見到)
The weariness in your parents’ white lock
當你的父母衰弱氣塞,
A clear reflection of aging in shock.
老化休克是明顯的反映.
At the dawn of life, as black as silk,
在生命的開端,如黑如絲,
shines at dusk, shows snowy lines.
閃耀在黃昏,顯示雪域行
When happy opportunities appear,
當快樂時機來臨,
Fulfill them here and dear,
滿足他們盡情歡樂,
Do not let our golden cups emptied of wine
別讓我們的金杯無酒空對月
Under such bright moonshine.
多麼明朗的月光下.
The talent I am blissfully endowed
天賜天賦我幸福
My skill will facilitate what I have avowed
我的技能促進我承認
A thousand teals of gold may be squandered,
費盡黃金千兩,
Its value, in kinds and ways, will be recovered
其價值,在種類和方式將復來.
Gastronomical delight of beef and lamb is served
宰牛烹羊的佳餚為款客,
A binge of three hundred cups will be observed.
三百杯子歡鬧儀式將舉行.
To Master Cen,
向岑大師,
To Scholar Dangiu,
向丹丘學者,
Wine is now served
美酒在招待,
Do not be reserved
別含蓄,
I shall sing to both soon
我快将歌唱
Attentively, your ears,
請君側耳傾聽,
Attune palatial music, fine cuisine, is not grand
調絃富麗堂皇的音樂, 精美菜餚, 不是盛大,
Wish we are forever drunk and in dreamland
希望大家喝醉永遠在夢境裡.
In ancient times, lonely sages are not remembered
在古代, 記不清幾多聖賢皆寂寞,
Only wine drinkers have their names sculptured.
只有喝酒醉翁雕塑他們的盛名.
In the past, Prince Chen held a grand banquet in his palace
在往時,陳王子在他的宮殿舉行盛大的宴會,
In pursuit of hedonistic indulgence par excellence,
沉迷追求卓越的享樂,
At a cost of ten thousand silver pieces
丟掉白銀萬兩
For a mere dipperful of wine dashes
僅是為一群酒友
As your host, money is never in doubt
作為主人,金錢是毫無疑問的.
To procure more wine for our bout.
採購更多的酒為大家的較量,
My spotted horse and fur worth a thousand
我的斑點馬兒和毛皮價值白銀一千兩,
My son to trade and buy wine on errand
我的兒子是貿易和購酒的差使.
Together we shall drown away
我們的沉迷齊齊將消失
The million miseries of bygone days.
昔日百萬苦難的日子.

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