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孟浩然 春曉 translation: Spring Dawn, by Meng Haoran


This is a translation and annotation of the poem 春曉 (Chūn Xiǎo), “Spring Dawn”, by the Tang dynasty poet 孟浩然 (Meng Haoran). The poem is #232 in the collection 300 Tang Poems, and is also known by its first line: 春眠不覺曉 (Chūn Mián Bù Jué Xiǎo).

 

春曉
Chūn Xiǎo
[spring] [dawn]
Spring Dawn

 

春眠不覺曉,
Chūn mián bù jué xiǎo,
[spring] [sleep] [not] [aware] [dawn]
In Spring one sleeps, unaware of dawn;

處處聞啼鳥。
chùchù wén tíniǎo.
[place] [place] [hear] [crow] [bird]
everywhere one hears crowing birds.

夜來風雨聲,
Yè lái fēngyǔ shēng,
[night] [come] [wind] [rain] [sound]
In the night came the sound of wind and rain;

花落知多少。
Huā luò zhī duōshǎo.
[flower] [fall] [know] [many] [few]
who knows how many flowers fell?

 

If you notice a mistake or disagree with the translation, please comment below to improve this resource.

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  • http://www.chinesetolearn.com/ Shu

    處處聞啼鳥。
    chùchù wén tíniǎo.
    [place] [place] [hear] [crow] [bird]
    everywhere are crowing birds.

    How about trying to translate the verb — hear– into the line?

    • http://eastasiastudent.net Hugh Grigg

      Ah yes, thanks. I’ve updated the translation.

  • http://www.justlearnchinese.com Grace

    The other day my daughter was reviewing this poem from her Chinese school. She got stuck on the word “聞” again and again. So I told her that the character is “hear” in classic Chinese. Don’t you see the “ear” is listening inside the “door”? That’s how you “hear” the bird chirping from outside of your door. She replied:”Why didn’t you say so earlier? Then I won’t have any problem memorizing this word again!” :-)

    • http://eastasiastudent.net Hugh Grigg

      Yes, I often think Chinese is a bit like “mnemonic Lego”. It just lends itself so well to memory devices and stories like that.

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