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王維 苦熱行 translation: Ballad of Suffering from the Heat, by Wang Wei

This is a very rough translation and annotation of the poem 苦熱行 (Kǔ Rè Xíng), ‘Ballad of Suffering from the Heat’, by the Tang Dynasty Chinese poet 王維 (Wáng Wéi).

As always, if you have any suggestions or criticisms, please share them in the comments at the end of the page.

苦熱行 Kǔ Rè Xíng [suffer] [hot] [ballad] Ballad of Suffering from the Heat

赤日滿天地, Chì rì mǎn tiāndì, [red] [sun] [fill] [sky] [earth] The red sun fills the heavens and the earth;

火雲成山嶽。 huǒ yún chéng shānyuè. [fire] [cloud] [complete] [mountain] [peak] fiery clouds complete the mountain peaks.

草木盡焦卷, Cǎomù jǐn jiāo juǎn, [grass] [tree] [exhaust] [scorch] [curl] The grasses and trees are completely scorched and curled;

川澤皆竭涸。 chuānzé jiē jié hé. [river] [pond] [all] [exhaust] [dry up] the rivers and ponds are completely dried up.

輕紈覺衣重, Qīng wán jué yī zhòng, [light] [white silk] [feel] [clothes] [heavy] In light white silk, one feels one's clothes are heavy;

密樹苦陰薄。 mì shù kǔ yīn báo. [dense] [tree] [suffer] [shade] [thin] amongst dense trees, one suffers the shade so meagre.

莞簟不可近, Guǎn diàn bùkě jìn, [rush] [grass mat] [not] [can] [approach] Rush mats - one cannot get near them; *[?]*

絺绤再三濯。 chī xì zàisān zhuó. [fine linen] [coarse linen] [again] [three] [cleanse] linens - again and again one washes them.

思出宇宙外, Sī chū yǔzhòu wài, [think] [exit] [universe] [universe] [outside] One thinks of leaving, beyond the universe,

曠然在寥廓。 kuàng rán zài liáokuò. [expansive] [-ly] [at] [empty] [open] vast in the empty void.

長風萬裏來, Cháng fēng wàn lǐ lái, [long] [wind] [ten thousand] [li] [come] The distant winds of ten thousand _li_ arrive;

江海蕩煩濁。 jiānghǎi dàng fán zhuó. [river] [sea] [cleanse] [trouble] [dirt] the rivers and seas sweep away trouble and impurities.

卻顧身為患, Què gù shēn wéihuàn, [yet] [worry] [body] [as] [contract disease] But one worries one's body is sick,

始知心未覺。 shǐ zhīxīn wèi jué. [begin[ [know] [heart] [not yet] [wake up] only then knowing that one's mind is not yet awake.

忽入甘露門, Hū rù gānlù mén, [suddenly] [enter] [sweet] [dew] [gate] Suddenly entering the Sweet Dew Gates, (甘露門 is a name for the teachings of Buddhism.)

宛然清涼樂。 wǎnrán qīngliáng lè. [winding] [-ly] [pure] [cool] [joy] meandering in the joy of a pure coolness.

If you have any suggestions or criticisms, please share them in the comments below.

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