This poem is by Ch'u Yuan (otherwise Qu Yuan) ca.340-278 BC. At a time of political upheaval he committed suicide by drowing in the Mi-lo river. See Wikepedia for fuller details…
This poem is by Ch'u Yuan (otherwise Qu Yuan) ca.340-278 BC. At a time of political upheaval he committed suicide by drowing in the Mi-lo river. See Wikepedia for fuller details http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qu_Yuan
This marvellous translation - marvellous because it makes a wonderful poem in English - is by the English Sinologist and Fellow of All Souls Oxford David Hawkes (b. 6.7.23). - See Wikipedia also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hawkes_(scholar)
David Hawkes translated the poem as 'Encountering Sorrow'.
This poem has been a favourite of mine for many years and I first read it in the Anthology of Chinese Literature published by Penguin Books in 1967....This is only a section of the poem; read the whole thing for the fuller flavour of this exquisite flower-poem.
Scion of the High Lord Kao Yang,
Po Yung was my father's name.
When She T'i pointed to the first month of the year,
on the day keng yin, I passed from the womb.
My father, seeing the aspect of my nativity,
took omens to give me an auspicious name.
The name he gave me was True Exemplar;
the title he gave me was Divine Balance.
Having from birth this inward beauty,
I added to it fair outward adornment:
I dressed in selinea and shady angelica,
and twined autumn orchids to make a garland.
Swiftly I sped, as in fearful pursuit,
afraid Time would race on and leave me behind.
In the morning I gathered the angelica on the mountains;
in the evening I plucked the sedges of the islets....