POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 489 WITH NOTES
clouds flow enchant hills
drift away hills are scenic
clouds mystify hills
high and low mountains
rely on sandy beach clouds
flash back home on hill
love my treasured hills
colourful clouds move with love
watch steps as I climb
wild mountain monkeys
deers, flowers and green grasses
eyes for diverse eyes
This is translating my English translation back into Chinese. Of course, it is no longer the same, irrespective on how good you are in both languages. All translations are interpretation of translator understanding of the text. I am always cautious whenever I read religious or classical texts. I prefer to read in the original language written, but often my command of both old Chinese or old English might not be at par. Hence some cross checking if I wish to go into the details, if time permits. I hope readers would simply enjoy the fun of it. “Aweful” in English means bad, or great, depending on context. The reader has the freedom to choose his own meaning.
Literally, this is an ancient poem about the beauty of clouds and hills as seen in contrast in many Chinese brush painting. It can be interpreted to describe the subtleties of power relations between nations or about dyad relate. China is symbolized as hills, and US (or other nation) as clouds. They meet and interact by unseen forces, such as the wind or sunlight. The wind blows the clouds to the hills, partially or fully engulf the peaks and slopes, and really enchanting, if both match well in the painting. Should the clouds drift away by unseen forces, the hills are gorgeous, and the clouds have their own charm. It is the contrast of shades and shapes that shows in perspective drawing. Co-operation, mutuality or co-dependency could be great or harmful, depending on each perspective. If one claims supremacy, and the other reluctant to be subdued, it is best they part, rather than causing the haze and become hazardous. We need to be careful with our steps, for no one can stay supreme all the time, if talks on freedom are meaningless to the other. We all have eyes, but we may not see eye to eye, or like the others’ eyes. We learn to accept and respect the diversity in each, for the world is neither yours, nor mine, but shared. President Trump, with a merchant’s mind, is too vain to appreciate the sceneries. The same sentiment prevails in the mind of many bigots. The monkeys are wild; they are not deers to be endeared; they destroy the grasses and flowers, both feed and beauty to nature. Nevertheless we have to be very cautious in our steps. They have all the awesome power, not to create a better world for all, but for others to feel the awe of destruction, in its own image.