Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Beyond the Border - A Tang Poem


出塞 (王之渙)

黃河遠上白雲間,
一片孤城萬仞山。
羌笛何須怨楊柳,
春風不度玉門關。


黃河 huáng hé   the Yellow River
遠  yuǎn far away
上 shàng up, above
白雲 bái yún  white clouds
間  jiān  in, between
一 yí    one
片  piàn  measure word for a tract of land
孤  gū  lonely
城 chéng   city
萬仞 wàn rèn   ten thousand rèn,  rèn is an ancient measure word for length
山  shān mountain
羌  qiāng  name of a minority ethnic group
笛 dí  flute
何 hé  why
須  xū  need
怨 yuàn  to complain, to blame
楊柳  yángliǔ  lit. willow tree (here it refers to a traditional tune)
春 chūn  spring
風 fēng  wind
不 bú  not
度 dù  to pass
玉門關  yù mén guān   an ancient fort or military post


A very nice English translation by  Ying Sun