Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

Lady Xi -- Wang Wei

(Poem #855) Lady Xi
 No present royal favour could efface
 The memory of the love that once she knew.
 Seeing a flower filled her eyes with tears.
 She did not speak a word to the King of Chu.
-- Wang Wei
 Original circa 8th century AD.
 Translated by Vikram Seth.
 From "Three Chinese Poets", 1994.


 The King of Chu in the seventh century BC defeated the ruler of Xi and took
his wife. She had children by him but never spoke to him.
 Fourteen centuries later Wang Wei, then twenty years old, wrote this poem
in the following circumstances. One of his patrons, a prince, had acquired
the wife of a cake-seller. A year later he asked her if she still loved her
husband, and she gave no answer. The man was sent for, and when she saw him
her eyes filled with tears.
 This took place before a small but distinguished literary gathering, and
the prince, moved, asked for poems on the subject. Wang Wei's poem was
finished first, and when it was read out, everyone else agreed it was
pointless to try to write something better.
 The prince reportedly returned the cake-seller's wife to her husband.
        -- Vikram Seth, "Three Chinese Poets"


I've always found Chinese poetry to be imbued with a peculiar poignancy, a
sense of loss which is no less acute for being remembered. I don't know if
this an artefact of translation, or part of the essence of the poetry
itself, informed as it is by the weight of millennia of history. Probably a
bit of both; either way, I like it.


[On Wang Wei, Tu Fu and Li Po]

 To compare the incomparable, if the difficulty of translating Wang Wei is
akin to the difficulty of playing Mozart, the difficulty of translating Du
Fu with his rich counterpoint of historical allusion can be compared to that
of playing Bach. As for translating the wild and romantic Li Bai -- it is
rather like playing Beethoven, often full of sound and fury, signifying
(usually) a great deal. But in each poem, as important as the texture or
tone of the work is the exact content of what is being said -- and the
translator's task is not to improvise cadenzas in the spirit of the piece
but to stick, as tellingly as he can, to the score.
        -- Vikram Seth, "Three Chinese Poets"

[Minstrels Links]

 Li Po:
Poem #504, About Tu Fu
Poem #683, To Tu Fu from Shantung
Poem #749, Parting
Poem #794, In the Quiet Night
Poem #826, Self-Abandonment

 Vikram Seth:
Poem #650, All You Who Sleep Tonight
Poem #754, Protocols
Poem #460, Round and Round

33 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Yamaha V-IXION 2013 said...

Matur suwun atas kabaripun...
salam kenal...

Space Matters Real Estates said...

Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return. Plots for sale in Hyderabad
Plots for sale in Banjara Hills
Plots for sale in Jubilee Hills
Plots for sale in Manikonda
Plots for sale in Madhapur
Plots for sale in kondapur
Plots for sale in Gachibowli
Plots for sale in Kukatpally said...

Thank you for your very nice article, do not forget to read my articles also kata kata bijak, kata kata cinta, kata kata romantis, kata kata motivasi, status fb lucu, status fb romantis and many other interesting articles on my blog that.

Anonymous said...

I know this web site presents quality based content and additional information,
is there any other website which provides these information in quality?

Also visit my website ... voyance

Anonymous said...

As of January 2014, over 67 million people play League of Legends
month-to-month. It's safe to say that kind of emotional manipulation often feeds over
into relationships and can dictate the way you interact with your romantic
partner. 'Senna', the documentary, keeps these famous quotes alive and in turn leaves us with visuals of a Formula One Racing Legend.

Also visit my blog post ... psn code generator

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to find out what blog platform you happen to be working with?
I'm experiencing some small security problems with my latest site and I'd like to find something more safeguarded.
Do you have any suggestions?

Review my blog post: iphone 6

Anonymous said...

My brother recommended I may like this blog. He
was totally right. This publish actually made my day. You can not believe simply how
a lot time I had spent for this information!
Thank you!

my web blog: best iphone contract

Anonymous said...

I believe this is one of the so much important information for me.
And i am satisfied studying your article. But want to statement on some basic things,
The site style is perfect, the articles is truly
nice : D. Just right job, cheers

Here is my web site quest bars

Anonymous said...

Kaeng Raeng, detox max erfahrung LLC" Arbonne" has
had any code violations. You will fnd our detoxifying and re-energising it can be found
fresh in the body. You just fill it with a deficit of 1.

My weblog - detoxmax

Anonymous said...

Within the next publish we are going to speak about custom made
hair replacement programs, an answer to get a natural hair techniques.
Would you wish to find out how is it potential to get your hair again.Nevertheless,You need
to all know the truth about how onerous to get a natural hair substitute programs !Sure it isn't
straightforward,trust me. The price of maintaining of hair substitute methods might be extra decrease
you then spend in those "hair club". Our hair stays shiny and healthy trying.

Also visit my web blog - farrell hair systems cost

blog remaja indonesia said...

Thank you for your very nice article, do not forget to read my articles also andalangue provide such kind words,gambar lucu , kata kata cinta are deliberately presented to the loyal readers.

Anonymous said...

Seberat apapun beban masalah yang kamu hadapi saat ini, percayalah bahwa semua itu tidak pernah melebihi batas kemampuan kamu.

Sunita Yadav said...

Escorts Service in Delhi always want to read more facts and stuff to explore some more informative things.I am really glad to be here and to discover this amazing thing.

Post a Comment