Ode To Chrysanthemums

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Thread: Ode To Chrysanthemums

  1. #1

    Ode To Chrysanthemums

    Ode To Chrysanthemums

    Standing elegantly high, you chrysanthemum
    are the best in the scene of autumn,
    Your bright corollas, nothing can compete,
    Not to mention those fading weeds.
    Even when frost and cold are here
    your graceful temperament will never disappear.

    I wrote this in Chinese first and then translated it into English:



    I was inspired by a poem written by a Chinese bilingual poet, a professor from the States. He wrote that one on his 25th birthday. I would say that this is how I understand his work.


    Jan. 11, 2016

  2. #2
    The following is By professor Fanghuzhai:

    On Chrysanthemum

    Great! thou chrysanthemum at the window
    Alone stealest the autumn's beauty show
    Sittinge at a seat so loftily high
    Thou commandest a panorama view
    Thou savorest the self-esteem of solitude
    Fishinge for compliments thou considerest low
    Thy golden crown is the color of emperor
    Wild plants cunnen only before you kowtow


    伟 哉 南 窗 菊 ,
    独 秀 一 枝 秋 。
    贵 体 束 危 阁 ,
    目 尽 万 物 收 。
    孤 高 芳 自 赏 ,
    不 屑 称 风 流 。
    冠 黄 真 正 色 ,
    野 草 当 自 羞 。

    source: http://www.backchina.com/blog/51954/...#ixzz3x2GafQO3
    Last edited by xiaoman; January 12th, 2016 at 05:41 PM.

  3. #3
    lovely poem - simple and sweet

    nice idea, that the flower has a 'graceful temperament'.

    thanks for sharing

  4. #4
    Tai hao le! Wonderful! Great! The most fascinating thing about learning Mandarin Chinese is how every character plays an essential role portraying a story within the sentence. One character can represent the imagery of seven words. Chinese is a very poetic language. In fact, when learning Mandarin Chinese, students are exposed to Chinese poems to help them learn the language. As someone dives deeper into the poetry, they will eventually explore the historical and cultural factors involved. They will understand that most of the Chinese poems are written to promote well-being and prosperous lives. Thanks for sharing this! I appreciate it. When I first read your username, I thought "xiaomao". Haha. I'm Anthony. It's a pleasure to meet you.

  5. #5
    xiaoman.. This is fabulous.. an "Ode" to anything is always intriguing, and for the humble Chrysanthemum... what a pleasure.. Thank you for both poems...
    She lost herself in the trees,
    among the ever-changing leaves.
    She wept beneath the wild sky
    as stars told stories of ancient times.
    The flowers grew toward her light,
    the river called her name at night.
    She could not live an ordinary life,
    with the mysteries of the universe
    hidden in her eyes....
    Author: Christy Ann Martine

    Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
    love leaves a memory no one can steal....
    Author unknown.

  6. #6
    Thank you ned, PrinzeCharming and Firemajic! Hi Ned, thanks! There are quite a few poems in Chinese about Chrysanthemum which also has been used as a bossy metaphor. In this one I tried to emphasize on its firm and persistent character. Probably it is something that I should learn from this kind of plant, since living in Canada for many years now, I still need to adjust myself to get used to the cold winter. Thanks to the El Niņo Phenomenon we have a warm winter this year. I cross my fingers and hope that the next one will be as cozy as this one.

    Thank you PrinzeCharming for your comments! I agree with you. "In fact, when learning Mandarin Chinese, students are exposed to Chinese poems to help them learn the language." likewise, I believe that learning poems in English is helpful to those who learn the English language. Recently I have learned how to write old style Chinese poems which is not an easy task to me. Since the poem itself, the last character in the first, second and the last line need to be rhymed, beside taking care of the rhyming thing, I also need to pay attention to the level and oblique tones which in a sense is similar to iambic pentameter in English poems, but not quite based on both constructions of English and Chinese( To do further explanation on this, I will post my newly written essay about poetry translation later). Most of the time I skip checking the tones, probably because I am just being lazy. That is to say, if I check the tones, to make sure they meet the certain standards tones, if not lucky enough, I most likely need to modify some characters without changing the meaning the poem conveys. I like English poetry better, I like rhymed and epic poems such as those written by George Byron and John Milton and so on. I will do further study on works of the Romantic Movement. Recently I have formed the preliminary view that many of Chinese ancient prose and essays can be translated into English with the rhymed couplets. I hope I can translate more prose and essays into English this year. Nice to meet you, too!

    Speaking of El Niņo Phenomenon I wrote this one a couple of days ago:

    四野縱橫小山坡。 今年積雪少得多。 吹面北風也柔和。
    暖冬夜色約翰河,野鷗貼水弄清波。 一泓明月影橫拖。

    At A Winter Moonlit Night

    All the fields and hills
    this year are covered by less snow than ever
    The blowing wind even feels
    warm; at dusk the Saint John River
    is so calm, and when seagulls
    on water tease quiet ripples
    they also break the clear moon's shadows.
    Jan. 4, 2016

    Thanks Firemajic! I think you are right on the 9th line on my Snoring. I should have changed fed into wed which was a suggestion by captflsah76: http://www.writingforums.com/threads/162738-Snoring

    All the best!
    Last edited by xiaoman; January 14th, 2016 at 11:27 PM.


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