This poem was written by China’s well known poet, Su Tung-po (Sung Dynasty AD 1076). It was translated by me from classical Chinese into English. Again, Mdm. Liu May Wong, translated my English to modern Chinese. It is best you read the original poem, take our two translations as “interest”, and be aware that translations, no matter how good they are, commit injustices to the original. Enjoy the reading without making comparisons.
THE SONG OF HARMONY
Whence the next luminous moon appeared?
Raising my wine-cup, to the blue sky, I cheered.
I knew neither the gate of heavenly abode,
Nor how the evening in celestial years, decode.
I desired to surf on the wind in my blissful return;
The exquisite jade and jasper might damage was my concern.
The high altitude with its cold was my deterrence;
Dancing in its shadows, the transcendence was transience.
The lights revolved around its amber pavilion;
Through its low lattices, it scattered in zillion.
Its reflection flickered on my sleepiness;
The fulfillment and separation were blameless.
Happiness and depression, union and separation
are human restlessness;
The imperfect moon displayed its changing brilliance,
And infrequent roundness.
Such imperfection was revealed since bygone years;
We only cherished to live longer and what we endeared.
To share the bond such brilliance brought;
Despite living miles apart, perfection forever sought.