Chinese Puzzle Box

Explorations in and about China

Overlooking LuShan Falls – Li Bai

Overlooking LuShan Falls
On Incense Peak there shines a purple mist –
Afar the waterfall by sunlight kissed
Flies down 3000 feet, its line unbroken
as if the Milky Way fell straight from heaven
Wang lu shan pu bu
Overlooking Lu Shan Falls
re zhao xiang1 lu2 sheng zu3 yan1
Sunshine on Incense Peak brings forth a violet mist
yao kan pu bu gua qian2 chuan1
the distant waterfall hangs above the river
Fei liu zhen xia san qian chi3
The water falls straight down for 3000 feet
yi2 shi yin he luo jiu tian.
like the Milky Way falling from the Ninth Heaven.
The pictures are actually from Yosemite, not Lu Shan, but the visuals work for me. 036doc
Vikram Seth has done a similar translation:
The Waterfall at Lu Shan
In sunshine, Censer Peak breathes purple mist.
A jutting stream, the cataract hangs in spray
Far off, then plunges down three thousand feet –
As if the sky had dropped the Milky Way.
Subtle differences – which do you prefer?

Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: