11 Comments

I wonder if amatory persuasion is found in Chinese poetry? The poem made me think of Donne. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46467/the-flea

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The Donne connection hadn't come to mind for me, but it puts me in mind of a really charming love poem by Guan Daosheng 管道昇 (1262–1319), whose husband was Zhao Mengfu -- I'll add it to the list for next week!

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I really enjoy Chinese poems in translation. Lu Tung Ping, Sun Buer. Taoist poets are amazing.

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You might like Edward Schafer's "Pacing the Void: T'ang Approaches to the Stars" (and much of his other work), if you haven't read it already.

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Thank you very much. I will read the book!

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Ok. Thanks to Annas Archives i own a free pdf! And thank you. In 1999 and 2000 I worked in a local travel agency in San Francisco sending Alumni from elite schools in the USA to visit China for 14 days. My interest in China is older of course.

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Dec 16, 2023Liked by Brendan O'Kane

Wonderful translation, as always.

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Glad you liked it! I did the first draft of this (not all that different from this version) while waiting in line at the pharmacy, and then realized that I had inadvertently translated a Yuan sanqu into one of Ted Hughes' animal poems. (Or at least I think that's what I was subconsciously aiming at.)

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Dec 16, 2023Liked by Brendan O'Kane

I think you were channeling both Ted Hughes and Ogden Nash ('The cow is of the bovine ilk;

One end is moo, the other, milk') at the same time.

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author

Oh, I'm definitely channelling Nash in a Wang Heqing poem coming up next week. Sanqu are so much fun -- I suspect because the nerds never really got a chance to ruin them the way they did with other once-vital forms.

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Dec 16, 2023Liked by Brendan O'Kane

Can't wait.

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