Saturday, May 9, 2009

My Dad at 70

Many days since last post, attempting to rectify...

I was trying to find a poem for my Dad for his 70th birthday, and came across this one. The poet is supposedly Yue Fu (not sure of characters), but I've never heard of him. Not that that means anything. Still, it is a nice poem, called "After Rain" (雨後, yu3 hou4):


yu3 hou4 shu4 lin2 run4
song1 jian1 yue4 jing1 xin1
xiao4 er2 si1 gu4 yuan2
yi4 ke4 zai4 yi4 xiang1

After the rain, the forest is slick
Through the pines, the moon startles me.
I smile and think of home,
A stranger in a strange land.

Siew Gin pointed out that the poem reminds her of another famous poem by Li3 Bai2 李白 (aka Li Po). This one is probably the most famous poem ever:

chuang2 qian2 ming2 yue4 guang4, yi4 shi4 di4 shang4 shuang1.
ju3 tou2 wang1 ming2 yue4, di1 tou3 si1 gu4 xiang1.

Before my bed the moon is so bright, it seems as though there is frost on the ground.
I lift my head to gaze at the bright moon; lowering my head, I think of home.

Similar themes: The Moon. Thinking of home. Drunk old dudes writing poetry. Anyway, the line about thinking of home is very similar: 思故乡 vs. 思故园. Did these guys know each other? Since I can't find any info on Yue Fu it is hard to tell...


siewgin_alan_tyler said...

Is this related to that other poem Chuang2 qian2 ming2 yue4 guang1
yi2 si4 di4 shang4 shuang1

Ben Moger-Williams said...

It does remind me of that one!
I will update with a note.

Just Mary said...

Odd - the translation to "stranger in a strange land." Not that we are not all just so.

kdobson said...

Apparently Yue Fu is 乐甫. Suprisingly, the guy, and the poem, are hard to find online. Where did you come across it, 四库全书?

Ben Moger Williams said...

Hey kdobson
A fellow Chinese scholar - nice to bleet you! (meet you on the blog). I don't remember where I found it, I think I googled Chinese poetry about nature or some such. Thanks for the character reference. So to speak!