Thursday, December 31, 2009

Colds, poetry, and Happy New Year!

As my Facebook friends know (and are probably tired of my whining already), I've caught a cold. Being rarely sick, I'm feeling like a pretty big baby with all my talking about it. ;) And, I seriously under-estimated how long it'd take me to get over it. I do remember I read somewhere once (probably at an forum) that colds usually take 2 to 3 weeks to run the course, so what I thinking when I thought I was getting better on the fifth day?

Actually, I blame my kids. They also rarely get sick, but when they do, they take only 5 to 7 DAYS to get over it...completely! I forget that I'm no longer young and my body doesn't recover like it used to.

I've had some requests to translate the poem by Li Bai (see my previous post on poetry). So, here I go. I will give a word-by-word translation and then an approximate, more artistic one. The original poem:Taking the first line:Ignore the red stuff on the corners (just some artist signature bits or something). The first line, word-by-word, is: bed, front, bright, moon, shine. More grammatically, it could be "The bright moon shines at the foot of the bed."

The second line:Word-by-word: suspect, to be, ground, on top of, frost...or "I thought it was frost on the ground."

Third line:W-b-w: lift, head, look, bright, moon..."Lifting my head, I gaze at the bright moon."

Next line:W-by-w: lower, head, think, native village (the last 2 words go together)..."Lowering my head, I reminisce about my village."

Then, the 5th line is an odd one. It's not part of the poem, but the first two words are the author's name, Li Bai:and the last 3 characters make up the name of the poem, "Quiet Night Thoughts":
I am not the best translator in the world, but poetry is also much harder to translate than other things simply because much of the beauty is lost going from one language to another. So, I don't know if you get the mood of the piece in my translation, but it is a sad one similar to what Westerners feel at not being able to make it home for the holidays.

That's a bit of a downer segue into this next paragraph, but I want to wish you all a very happy New Year! I hope that your 2010 will be all that you want it to be and even better! I look forward to reading your blogs and hope you'll continue to visit mine.

Next time, I'll post about the stollen I made this past week. :)

** edited to add: note for Meg_L - incidentally, that last character of the last line is the second character in my Chinese name. I just realized I still haven't posted my name in Chinese for you on FB.

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." ~ Douglas Adams