I need help with this poem...

Discussion in 'Translator's Corner' started by Arisana, Apr 15, 2021.

  1. Arisana

    Arisana Active Member

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    I don't know how to properly translate this. I'm afraid of ruining the meaning behind it...
    I also can't find the author/title so I'm stuck... :blobupset:

    江山通万里, 乾坤一清瓯。四海来紫气,鸿运自当头。
     
  2. Eishun

    Eishun Well-Known Member

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    江山 - Empire
    通 - Lead to, get to
    万里 - Ten thousand li

    乾坤 - Heaven and Earth, the Universe
    清 - Clear, discharge
    瓯 - A sort of ancient bowl used for drinking

    四海 - Four seas
    紫气 - Auspiciousness

    鸿运 - Good fortune
    自当头 - Comes to you

    That's all I can do for the time being. But in the meantime, maybe you can piece the phrases together into a coherent poem?
     
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  3. Eishun

    Eishun Well-Known Member

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    "My empire stretches for ten thousand li, Heaven and Earth are turned upside down.
    The auspicious air rushes in from the four seas, Good fortune shall come to you."

    Will this work? Any suggestions, everybody?
     
  4. Ayer

    Ayer Active Member

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    According to a commentor somewhere on baidu, he says about the meaning of this poem: "to wish and to eulogize [the person to have] everything to go smoothly [in his political career], propitious omen. [In short:] good luck"

    Regarding the translation of this poem. I have no clue. Though, it looks like 乾坤 is highly dependant on next part of the sentence for what it means. It feels like it's similar to yin yang, positive-negative, (the next ones are from a dictionary btw) male-woman, potent-latent, generative-receptive, Caelum-Terra. So the meaning is dependant on 一清瓯. Then what I also found, which is most likely incorrect, 瓯 could also mean "the frontier" but this seems to be a very specific context, might not be the case here.

    I wish I could help, but I have too little knowledge in poetry to help out.
     
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  5. Eishun

    Eishun Well-Known Member

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    Did a little tweaking to the poem...

    "My empire stretches for ten thousand li, Heaven and Earth are turned upside down.
    The four seas ushers in the auspicious air, Good fortune shall come to you."


    "The four seas ushers in the auspicious air" sounds a little better than what I had before.

    Anyway, once again, I think my translation is likely not a hundred percent correct. So feedback please, if you have any.
     
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  6. Arisana

    Arisana Active Member

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    I think that's better than the one I came up with. Thank you. :aww:
    I just can't with poems... :notlikeblob:
     
  7. nonononononono

    nonononononono NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO

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    江山通万里, may you have a successful career as an official.
    乾坤一清瓯 uncorrupted like a bowl of clean water in the world.
    四海来紫气 when the auspicious air rushes in from the four seas,
    鸿运自当头 great fortune will definitely follow.
    I think this is what it means.
     
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  8. Eishun

    Eishun Well-Known Member

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    You may be right. I think your first and second lines make sense as well.

    Need context to be sure. What's the context of this poem, TS?

    If it was being recited by someone offering congratulations to some official or other, then nono-san's interpretation is most likely the correct one.
     
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  9. Arisana

    Arisana Active Member

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    Wow! Thank you so much! :aww:
     
  10. Eishun

    Eishun Well-Known Member

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    However, if it was being recited by a king or overlord, then mine's probably the correct one.
     
  11. toleroid

    toleroid Member

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    江山通万里,
    May the empire stretch smoothly for ten thousand li,
    乾坤一清瓯
    The world like one bowl of clear water,
    四海来紫气
    May imperial destiny come to the Four Seas,
    鸿运自当头
    Great fortune starting from oneself.

    The first line could also be interpret as "going smoothly over the empire's ten thousand li", which would support the other interpretation. However, to me it sounds more like something recited by an Emperor, because 紫气 = purple qi, which is the sign of an emperor, and 乾坤 (qiankun) is a set phrase for dominating heavens and earth, pertaining to destiny.