Peach Blossom (after Li Po)

Another adaptation…

Peach Blossom

Ask why I stay on the green mountain
and I smile but do not answer; my heart rests.
A peach blossom floats downstream –
Heaven and earth, apart from this world.

The transliteration on is as follows:

Ask me what reason stay green mountain
Smile but not answer heart self idle
Peach blossom flow water far go
Apart have heaven earth in human world

There the poem is titled “Question and Answer on the Mountain.”

Note: an alternative reading of the last line is “apart from” the human world.


20 thoughts on “Peach Blossom (after Li Po)

  1. Yep, like it a lot. I hope you’re having fun with these, it seems like it. I’m enjoying them, just so ya know. πŸ˜‰


  2. I really like to see both versions. It really does pull into focus the awfully hard job translators face…

    Very interesting indeed.



  3. I went back and looked at JP Seaton’s translation of this in his very good collection of Li Po’s work, and I like your “adaptation” better. I think that last line is particularly difficult to parse, and in three different translations I have read it has three different meanings. I actually think that is a good thing.


  4. High praise, indeed! I struggled with the last line, but ultimately chose what I thought offered balance to the piece. And I agree that finding different meanings is a good thing. A very good thing.


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