mjj (flemmings) wrote,
mjj
flemmings

Premiers pas/ toddle toddle

I continue to be entranced by the worlds that open when you know a little-- a very little-- Chinese. The beginning of Heike Monogatari, say, which incandescens happily reminds me of.

祇園精舎の鐘の聲、
諸行無常の響あり。
娑羅雙樹の花の色、
盛者必衰のことわりをあらはす。
おごれる人も久しからず、
唯春の夜の夢のごとし。
たけき者も遂にほろびぬ、
偏に風の前の塵に同じ。

As expounded here.

Gion shouja no kane no koe     The knell of the bells at the Gion temple
shogyou mujou no hibiki ari.     Echoes the impermanence of all things.
Shara souju no hana no iro     The colour of the flowers on its double-trunked tree
jousha hissui no kotowari o arawasu.     Reveals the truth that to flourish is to fall

Never could remember shogyou mujou- 'all is evanescent' in previous years, since my Japanese reader's eye registered it as 'all lines are not normal'. And those souju- two sala trees, using what looked like the counter for ships. It's not-- that's 隻, to hold one bird or Atlantic freighter. This is 雙, to hold two birds. Just try, I say.

Counters expounded here.
Tags: chinese, japanese, verse
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 1 comment