Author Topic: Your Name (translation of a Chinese poem)  (Read 1219 times)

Offline Xinmiao

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Your Name (translation of a Chinese poem)
« on: March 27, 2007, 01:59:11 AM »
I don't know exactly where to put this. But I like this poem (written by a Chinese poet in the 20th century) and thought there might be others who will enjoy it :) Love this friendly and generously helpful forum!

Your Name
By  Ji Xuan (the author)

With the softest, softest voice on this earth
I whisper your name every, every night

I write your name
I paint your name
And shines in my dreams, your name

Like the Sun, like stars, your name
Like the light, like a diamond, your name
Like radiant sparks, like the lightening, your name
Like fires in a virgin forest, your name

I carve your name!
I carve your name on a sapling
On a sapling of life that never withers
When this plant grows into a lofty, old tree
Ah, Ah, how great, how great
Your name grows too

Getting titanic is your name
Getting resplendent is your name
Then, I will softly softly softly whisper your name
The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.

Leigh

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Re: Your Name (translation of a Chinese poem)
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2007, 01:14:07 PM »
Xinmiao:

This is lovely in that spare Eastern way... I can hear it as a haunting song. It seems to capture that headlong rush of early infatuation.
I'm sure it might lose a little something in the translation, so I wish I could  hear its power in its native Chinese! Wow.

Your (screen?) name is pretty, too... does it mean anything in particular in your language? Isn't a 'miao' a cat? Or...am I thinking of a whole different language. :-[ I confess I dont' know a lot about the Chinese language. Thanks for sharing the poem, though! :)

Leigh x
« Last Edit: March 27, 2007, 03:46:19 PM by Leigh »

Offline Xinmiao

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Re: Your Name (translation of a Chinese poem)
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2007, 09:56:43 PM »
Hello Leigh!

Thanks a lot for your note! I'm really glad that you like it. I read it from a story published online, which quoted this poem. I completely agree with you that the original theme of the poem is probably depicting the phase of early infatuation. But the story itself is about the love between a retarded young man and a poor prostitute, or one who was not smart enough to think of himself all the time and one who strove to live in a hostile world - both unfavorable to and treated unfairly by the rest of the society - and the innocent, fervent, unconditional "infatuation" never faded. The retarded man found this poem and memorized it. In the end of this tragic story, before the guy died, he recited the whole poem, and shouted out the girl's name ... My tears ....

Xinmiao is my real first name. They are two characters in Chinese, meaning "new" and "sapling" respectively. And you're right that in Chinese another character with the pronounciation "miao" means the sound of a cat - and sounds like it too! (many chinese characters share the same pronounciation but have completely different strokes and meanings).

Hope I'm not babbling too much :) Thanks again for your warm remarks!
Xinmiao :D
The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.

Leigh

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Re: Your Name (translation of a Chinese poem)
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2007, 02:21:01 AM »
No, no... it's not babbling! :)  Besides, isn't this a writer's circle? Write away!  ;)

Aw, the story behind the poem sounds very touching. It gives an extra poignancy to the poem.

I'm glad to hear I wasn't too far off, on my 'cat' guess! :D  Although the application for your own name (new sapling) is lovely, too. It sounds like a delicate, willowy girl. Your parents named you kindly. :)

Leigh x