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nightlife

夜思 (Nocturnal musings)

  • 9th Jan, 2005 at 11:17 AM

My last piece of poetry reminded me of a poem I learnt in Chinese school. Ever since I was five, my parents have sent me to Cantonese lessons, in the hopes that I would not forget my heritage. At first, I resented this, because I would rather be playing with my friends than memorising characters that I thought I'd never use. But now I am thankful for their foresight.

李白 is the most celebrated of Chinese poets, and this is my translation of his most famous poem, which is more often translated as "(Thinking) in the quiet night". I submit that my ambiguous vocabulary and better metre represents the poem more accurately than other translations.


夜思 Nocturnal musings
李白

床前明月光 Before my bed, the moonlight gleams
疑是地上霜 To look like frost form'd 'pon the ground
舉頭望明月 Looking up, I see the bright moon
低頭思故鄉 Looking down, I yearn for my home

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