30 April 2021

劉長卿 Liu Changqing: 送靈澈上人 On Parting with the Buddhist Master Ling Che

Below is my latest rendition.  Lately, I have been busy compiling for publication 60 of my quatrain renditions and can spare no time translating new ones.  The task is now more or less complete, and I am glad I will be back to normal.

I hope you will enjoy this beautiful little poem.  Cheers!

Liu Changqing (714-790): On Parting with the Buddhist Master Ling Che


1      O green, so green: your Bamboo Forest Temple,

2       From afar, come faintly: its bell’s evening tolls.

3       Broad hat on your back, while the sun is yet to set,

4       Alone you return to your distant green hills abode.


Translated by Andrew W.F. Wong (Huang Hongfa)    譯者: 黃宏發

29 April 2021

Translated from original - 劉長卿: 送靈澈上人


1                蒼蒼竹林寺

2                杳杳鐘聲晚

3                荷笠帶斜陽

4                青山獨歸遠



*Title, Form, and Rhyme:  The poem is interpreted to refer to the Buddhist Master Ling Che of the Bamboo Forest Temple visiting the poet Liu Changqing.  They were dear friends, and on parting, the poet penned this quatrain, hence, the title “On Parting with …”  The Temple must be some distance away (line 4), but manageable on foot as bell tolls can be heard albeit faintly (line 2).  My English rendition is in pentameter (5 beats or feet) with a medial caesura (pause) after the second beat or foot.  The original’s rhyme scheme is xAxA which I have followed in my rendition, however, not in perfect rhymes but in the ‘ou’ sound “acconance” (should read "assonance") of “tolls” (line 2) and “abode” (line 4).

*Line 1:  The reduplication of is rendered as “O green, so green”.

*Line 2:  The reduplication of is emulated by the ‘f’ alliterations in “From afar, come faintly”.

*Line 3:  帶斜陽 is rendered as “while the sun is yet to set” rather than “in the slanting sun” for the “yet”—“set” internal rhyme.

*Line 4:  I have added “abode” after “green hills” to end the line and the poem.    


Classical Chinese Poems in English


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