送友人 (We Part as Friends)
— Li Bai (李白), 8th-century Chinese poet
The mountains green lie ’thwart the Northern walls,
The river glows wrapped round the Eastern hold.
When on this ground we once do say farewell,
Alone, far-flung, we’ll tread a thousand miles.
The clouds drift on as do our wanderers’ hearts;
The setting sun with strength of yearning burns.
We wave our hands and from this place depart–
Our mounts call out on parting, quite forlorn.
Yeah I took an ancient Chinese poem and made it gay and kinda cynical lol. I was inspired by Zoë C.’s translation of the same poem, found here, to make a quite different translation.
The differences are very indicative of our styles, I think, and I enjoyed the understated and quietly intense lyricism and voice of Zoë’s rendition. Whereas I, as always, prefer classical iambic metre for classical poetry and use it to build up to big, dramatic emotions.