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Classical Chinese

128 孟浩然 過故人莊 translation: Visiting a Friend's Farmhouse, by Meng Haoran

This is a translation and annotation of the poem 過故人莊 (Guò Gùrén Zhuāng), by the Tang dynasty poet 孟浩然 (Meng Haoran) translations”). The poem is #128 in the collection 300 Tang Poems, and is also known by its first line: 故人具雞黍 (Gùrén Jù Jī Shǔ).


過故人莊 Guò Gùrén Zhuāng [pass] [old friend][] [farmhouse] Visiting a Friend's Farmhouse

故人具雞黍, Gùrén jù jī shǔ, [old friend][] [prepare] [chicken] [millet] An old friend prepares chicken and millet,

邀我至田家。 yāo wǒ zhì tiánjiā. [invite] [me] [to] [field] [house] and invites me to his rural home.

綠樹村邊合, Lǜ shù cūn biān hé, [green] [tree] [village] [side] [surround] Green trees surround the village;

青山郭外斜。 qīng shān guō wài xiá. [blue-green] [mountain] [city wall] [outside] [stretch] blue-green mountains stretch beyond the town.

開軒面場圃, Kāi xuān miàn chǎng pǔ, [open] [pavilion] [face] [yard] [garden] Open the pavilion window and face the yard and gardens,

把酒話桑麻。 bǎ jiǔ huà sāng má. [hold] [wine] [speak] [mulberry] [hemp] raise our glasses, speak of hemp and mulberry.

待到重陽日, Dài dào Chóngyángrì, [wait] [arrive] [double] [yang] [day] We await the arrival of Double Ninth Festival,

還來就菊花。 huán lái jiù júhuā. [return] [come] [engage in] [chrysanthemum] [flower] to return here and admire chrysanthemums.

If you notice a mistake or disagree with the translation, please comment below to improve this resource. You might want to have a read of this, as well.


過 in the title is literally ‘pass by’, but here it’s more like 拜访 - ‘pay a visit’.

具 in the first line could be ‘provide’, ‘prepare’ or ‘purchase’. “For me” is implied here, but wasn’t included in the translation above.

合 in the third line means 环绕 - ‘surround’ or ‘encircle’.

郭 in the fourth line means ‘town wall’, but is used as a metonym for the town in general.

斜 refers to the mountains winding on forever into the distance. It should be read xiá (rather than the usual xié) in order to preserve the rhyme scheme.

場圃 in the fifth line could be translated more specifically as “threshing floor and vegetable gardens”.

把酒 as a phrase means “raise a cup” (of alcohol). 桑麻, hemp and mulberry, refer to the local crops in general.

重陽日 is 重阳节 - Double Ninth Festival, an ancient holiday in the Chinese lunar calendar. It is traditional to drink chrysanthemum tea on this festival.

Source: 过故人庄 - 百度百科