To China

Sunday, 2 May 2010, 21:40 | Category : Uncategorized
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So I’m off to China, to teach Shakespeare for a month at China Three Gorges University. Li Bai wrote:

Farewell, Upon Passing Mount Jin Men
Li Bai (701-762)

And now at length I’ve passed beyond Jin Men
On my adventure to the land of Chu.
The mountains end, the flatlands open out,
The Yangtze meets the vast plains and pours through.

The moon is flung upon its heavenly mirror,
The clouds grow mirages of towers and sea;
But still I love the waters of my homeland
That travel with my boat a thousand li.

He also wrote:

Early Start from White King City
Li Bai (701-762)

I leave Bai Ti in its white clouds,
at dawn I’m on my way,
To Jiang Ling it’s a thousand li,
but it will take one day.
The screaming monkeys on the banks
will never cease their calls;
My light boat has already passed
ten thousand mountain-walls!

But Du Fu wrote:

At Night Far From Home He Unburdens His Heart
Du Fu (712-770)

A light wind in the thin grass of the shore,
A boat at night, tall-masted and alone;
The stars hang over a vast open plain,
The moon swims in the mighty river’s stream.

So, do my writings make a famous name?
This sick old officer should just resign.
Adrift, adrift, what kind of thing am I?
A lone white gull between the earth and sky.

Nothing really changes.

3 Comments for “To China”

  1. 1james bunn

    Hi Fred,

    Have a wonderful trip to China. I envy you the experience. Your translations are wonderfully clear, and tactful.

    I heard yet about my ms {Mobile Symmetries], but hope to hear soon,

    Best,

    Jim Bunn

  2. 2He Jing

    Hello Professor,
    I found your blog by chance. Reading it here, while expecting a lecture from you this eveving is really something amazing. Thank you for your coming and thank you for your wonderful lectures. I hope you can enjoy more in Yichang.

    He Jing

  3. 3He Jing

    Hello Professor,
    I found your blog by chance. Reading it here, while expecting a lecture from you this evening is really something amazing. Thank you for your coming and thank you for your wonderful lectures. I hope you can enjoy more in Yichang.

    He Jing

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