This is a translation and annotation of the poem 寓居定惠院之東雜花滿山有海棠一株土人不知貴也 (Yùjū Dìnghuì Yuàn Zhī Dōng Zá Huā Mǎn Shān Yǒu Hǎitáng Yī Zhū Tǔrén Bùzhī Guì Yě), ‘Staying to the East of Dinghui Temple; Mixed Flowers Fill the Mountains, There is a Crab Apple Tree; Locals Do Not Know its Value’, by the Song Dynasty Chinese poet 蘇軾 (Sū Shì).
As always, this is only my beginner’s attempt at an annotation. If you have any suggestions, please share them in the comments at the end of the page.
Yùjū Dìnghuì Yuàn Zhī Dōng Zá Huā Mǎn Shān Yǒu Hǎitáng Yī Zhū Tǔrén Bùzhī Guì Yě [reside] [live] [Ding] [Hui] [court] ['s] [east] [mixed] [flower] [full] [mountain] [have] [ocean] [cherry-apple] [one] [trunk] [earth] [person] [not] [know] [noble] [is] Staying to the East of Dinghui Temple; Mixed Flowers Fill the Mountains, There is a Crab Apple Tree; Locals Do Not Know its Value
江城地瘴蕃草木， Jiāngchéng dì zhàng fān cǎomù, [river] [city] [land] [miasma] [proliferates] [grass] [tree] On the land by the river city, a miasma proliferates over grass and trees；
只有名花苦幽獨。 zhǐyǒu míng huā kǔ yōu dú. [only] [have] [famous] [flower] [suffering] [remote] [alone] there are only famous flowers, suffering loneliness.
嫣然一笑竹籬間， Yānrán yīxiào zhú lí jiān, [beautiful] [-ly] [one] [smile] [bamboo] [fence] [between] A charming smile, a fence of bamboo between;
桃李漫山總粗俗。 táo lǐ màn shān zǒng cūsú. [peach] [plum] [inundate] [mountain] [total] [coarse] [vulgar] peaches and plums cover the mountain - it is entirely vulgar.
也知造物有深意， Yě zhī zào wù yǒu shēnyì, [also] [know] [make] [thing] [have] [deep] [meaning] One also knows that the Creation had a deep meaning -
故遣佳人在空谷。 gù qiǎn jiārén zài kōng gǔ. [deliberate] [send] [beautiful] [person] [at] [empty] [valley] deliberately it sent a beautiful woman to be in this empty valley.
自然富貴出天姿， Zìrán fùguì chū tiān zī, [nature] [-ly] [wealth] [nobility] [exit] [heaven] [beauty] Naturally with wealth and title, she displays heavenly beauty;
不待金盤薦華屋。 bùdài jīn pán jiàn huá wū. [not] [wait] [gold] [plate] [offer] [magnificent] [house] one doesn't wait for a gold plate offering in this splendid house.
朱唇得酒暈生臉， Zhūchún dé jiǔ yūn shēng liǎn, [vermillion] [lip] [get] [alcohol] [dizzy] [raw] [cheeks] Rouge lips take wine, dizzy with red cheeks;
翠袖卷紗紅映肉。 cuì xiù juǎn shā hóng yìng ròu. [blue-green] [sleeve] [roll] [gauze] [red] [reflect] [flesh] blue green sleeves, rolled gauze, skin that reflects red,
林深霧暗曉光遲， Lín shēn wù àn xiǎo guāng chí, [woods] [deep] [mist] [dark] [dawn] [light] [late] deep in the woods in mist it is dark, the dawn light is late,
日暖風輕春睡足。 rì nuǎn fēng qīng chūn shuì zú. [sun] [warm] [wind] [light] [spring] [sleep] [enough] the sun is warm, the wind light; sleeping in spring is sufficient.
雨中有淚亦淒愴， Yǔzhōng yǒu lèi yì qīchuàng, [rain] [in] [have] [tears] [like] [mournful] [sad] In the rain, one sobs mournfully;
月下無人更清淑。 yuè xià wúrén gèng qīng shū. [moon] [under] [not have] [person] [more] [clear] [warm] under the moon there is no-one - it is all the clearer.
先生食飽無一事， Xiānshēng shí bǎo wú yīshì, [mister] [eat] [full] [not have] [one] [issue] I eat my fill and have not a single worry,
散步逍遙自捫腹。 sànbù xiāoyáo zì mén fù. [leisurely] [walk] [free and unfettered] [self] [hands on] [belly] walking free and unfettered, my hands on my belly.
不問人家與僧舍， Bùwèn rénjiā yǔ sēng shě, [not] [ask] [person] [house] [with] [monk] [reside] Not questioning if it is a private home or a monk's residence,
拄杖敲門看修竹。 zhǔ zhàng qiāo mén kàn xiū zhú. [lean on] [staff] [knock] [door] [look] [elegant] [bamboo] leaning on a staff, knocking on the door, looking at elegant bamboo.
忽逢絕艷照衰朽， Hū féng jué yàn zhào shuāixiǔ, [suddenly] [encounter] [broken] [beauty] [reflect] [decaying] Suddenly one encounters a broken beauty, reflecting decline;
嘆息無言揩病目。 tànxí wúyán kāi bìng mù. [gasp] [not have] [speech] [wipe] [tired] [eye] one gasps, speechless, wiping tired eyes.
陋邦何處得此花， Lòu bāng hé chù dé cǐhuā, [low] [kingdom] [what] [place] [get] [this] [flower] In this lowly kingdom, how can one find such a flower -
無乃好事移西蜀。 wú nǎi hàoshì yí xi shǔ. [not have] [thus] [meddlesome] [shift] [west] [Shu] surely it would be too meddlesome to move it from Western Shu?
寸根千里不易到， Cùn gēn qiānlǐ bùyì dào, [inch] [root] [thousand] [li] [not] [easy] [arrive] An inch of root, a thousand miles - it would not be easy to achieve;
銜子飛來定鴻鵠。 xián zǐ fēi lái dìng hónghú. [hold in mouth] [seed] [fly] [come] [certain] [swan] holding in its mouth a seed, it came flying - it was certainly a swan.
天涯流落俱可念， Tiānyá liúluò jù kě niàn, [sky] [edge] [flow] [fall] [all] [can] [think of] From the edge of the sky, flowing and falling - it can all be imagined;
為飲一樽歌此曲。 wèi yǐn yī zūn gē cǐ qū. [for] [drink] [one] [goblet] [sing] [this] [tune] drinking one goblet, one sings this song.
明朝酒醒還獨來， Míng cháo jiǔ xǐng huán dú lái, [bright] [morning] [wine] [awake] [return] [alone] [come] In the bright morning one awakes from drunkenness and returns alone;
雪落紛紛那忍觸。 xuě luò fēnfēn nǎ rěn chù. [snow] [fall] [continuously] [how] [endure] [contact] snow falls continuously - how can one endure its touch?
If you have any suggestions, please share them in the comments below.
Sources and further reading
- 寓居定惠院之东杂花满山有海棠一株土人不知贵也 - 百度百科
- An Anthology of Chinese Literature: Beginnings to 1911 - Stephen Owen
- Drifting Among Rivers and Lakes: Southern Song Dynasty Poetry [Abridged, Audiobook, Box set, Illustrated, Large Print] [Hardcover]“)