Chinese Puzzle Box

Explorations in and about China

Spring Dawn – Meng Hao Ran

I wake at dawn in spring
Outside I hear birds calling
Despite the storm last night.
So many blossoms fallen.

Spring Dawn
Meng Hao Ran

Chūn mián bù jué xiăo,
春 眠 不 觉 晓,
Spring sleep not awakened dawn,

Chù chù wén tí niăo.
处 处 闻 啼 鸟。
[chirp] [chirp] hear cry bird

Yè lái fēng yŭ shēng,
夜 来 风 雨 声,
Night come wind rain sound

Huā luò zhī duō shăo.
花 落 知 多 少。
flower fall know how many

In spring I awake at dawn
to the sound of birds chirping
In the night heard wind and rain
how many blossoms have fallen?

Du Mu is alluding obliquely to how the court of the emperor moves smoothly as though nothing had happened, despite the overnight disappearance of  friends who had been exiled or executed by the tyrannical emperor.


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