Parting from Wang Wei (after Meng Haoran)


Parting from Wang Wei (after Meng Haoran)

These quiet days are ending
and now I must leave.

I miss my home’s fragrant grasses
but will grieve at parting ā€“ we’ve

eased each other’s burdens on this road.
True friends are scarce in life.

I should just stay there alone, forever
behind the closed gate.

The transliteration on reads:

Quiet end what wait
Day day must go return
Wish seek fragrant grass go
Grieve with old friend separated
On road who mutual help
Understanding friend life this scarce
Only should observe solitude
Again close native area door


26 thoughts on “Parting from Wang Wei (after Meng Haoran)

    • This is perhaps as close to a translation of a Chinese poem as I can get. I’m reluctant to place my attempts among those of the individuals who can actually read, write and speak the language, or who work with those who can. I’m in awe of, for example, Arthur Sze, who is able to look at the components of the characters that comprise a poem, and bring forth nuances that I’d never be able to consider. Ignorance holds me back. I do what I can, and derive great joy and satisfaction from working with these poems, but I’m conscious of my limitations, and even regret them a little. If I only had more time. Ah, wasted youth…

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Very moving, Robert, and very beautiful. I’m always amazed at how you take the transliteration, which I have trouble interpreting, and create a subtle and touching poem that does, in fact, seem to capture what the original poet meant.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Willow. When looking at these, I try to determine the answers to two questions: who’s speaking, and why (to what purpose). The answers insert me into the poems, and enable what I hope results in passable efforts.


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