Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chogonka, part 4

Evidently the way to sink double-digit reader to single-digit reader is to spend months on a Chinese poem. :-)  I promise this will be the only such long digression in the chapter.  The second half of the poem is drawn on more heavily than the first for the "Kiritsubo" chapter.

61 春風、桃李花の開く夜
The windy spring nights when the peach and plum trees bloomed,

- SKT and wikisource read 日 instead of 夜.

62 秋雨、梧桐葉の落る時。
The autumn rains, when the leaves of the Wutong trees fell.

- SKT interprets these lines as meaning "In all the times described, the King could not forget Yang Guifei," whereas wikisource says that the spring days have been replaced by the autumn rains.  Neither interpretation is literally in the original but something more is going on than the literal translation.

63 西宮、南、秋草多し。
The western palace and the southern gardens had many autumn plants.

- SKT and wikisource have 南内 here (southern palace).

64 宮葉、階に満ちて紅掃はず。
The scarlet leaves of the palace covering the stairs were not swept away.

- SKT and wikisource have 落葉 (fallen leaves)

65 梨園の弟子、白髮新なり。
The children of the Pear Garden had newly white hair.

-  梨園弟子 is a term for the singers and performers of the Pear Garden musical group in the palace.  SKT says this was led by Xuanzong himself.

66 椒房の阿監、青蛾老たり。
The women in the Jiaofang's eyebrows had grown old.

- The Jiaofang was where the Empresses of the Han Dynasty lived; 青蛾 is a symbol of youth. 

67 夕殿に螢飛びて、思ひ悄然
In the evening palace the fireflies flew, and the King was alone and sad.

68 孤燈挑(かか)げ尽くして、未だ眠ることを成さず。
The lamps were lit and burned out, but still he could not sleep.

- SKT has 秋 instead of 孤.

69 遅遅たる鐘鼓、初て長き夜,
The slow bells and drums, the long night had just begun.

- SKT has 鐘漏, saying this is a water-based clock.

70 耿耿たる星河, 曙なんと欲する天。
The brightly shining stars; he wished the morning would come.

71 鴛鴦瓦冷にして、霜の華重く,
The duck tiles were cold, and the crystallized frost was heavy.

- SKT indicates that the "duck tiles" means tiles that are closely spaced, like the mandarin ducks were said to be close in poetry.

72 翡翠衾寒して、誰とにか共にせん。
The jade quilt was cold, who would share it with him?

- SKT emends the first part to 旧枕故衾.

73 悠悠たる生死別て年を経,
Years passed since they had suffered the long separation of life and death,

74 魂魄曾て来て夢にだに入らざる。
Her soul had not even appeared once in his dreams.

75 臨邛の士、鴻都の客,
A Daoist priest from Linqiong came as a guest to Hongdu.

- "Hongdu" is a gate of the palace that was near a school and a library; it didn't exist in Emperor Wu's time so the SKT suggests this just means the Daoist priest was coming to study.

76 能く精誠を以って魂魄を致す。
He had the spiritual power that let him call spirits.

77 君王、展転の思を感ぜしめんが為に
Because he noticed that the King was afflicted with longing for his beloved,

78 遂に方士をして殷勤に覓して教む。
The King had the priest earnestly seek out her spirit.

79 空を排し、気に馭して、奔ること電の如く,
The priest was like lightning as he parted the skies and sent his spirit out riding in the air.

80 天に昇り、地に入て之を求ること遍し。
He ascended to the heavens and back down to the earth, searching for her everywhere.

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