"Children Playing in the Snow under Plum Trees in Bloom" by Yōshū (Hashimoto) Chikanobu A Translation of ‘Snow in Spring’ by Han Yu (768–824) The Society December 19, 2018 Beauty, Culture, Poetry, Translation 3 Comments Translated by Jarek Zawadzki Upon the New Year’s Day no fragrant flowers came out, Not till the second month did buds begin to sprout. The snow humiliates the spring for being late, And sprays white petals in the garden all about. Original Chinese 韩愈 《春雪》 新年都未有芳华，二月初惊见草芽。 白雪却嫌春色晚，故穿庭树作飞花。 Jarek Zawadzki was born in 1977. He lives in Gliwice, Poland. In 2002, he graduated from the University of Warsaw with an MA degree in Chinese Studies, and in 2017 he was awarded an MA degree in English Studies by the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. He works as an Asian Market Manager for a woodworking factory. He is also a freelance translator in a combination of the three languages: Polish, English and Chinese. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 3 Responses James Sale December 20, 2018 I am not an expert on Chinese poetry or Chinese culture generally, and certainly can make no observation on the accuracy of this translation. But as a work in English I like it very much. It has what we perhaps associate with the Chinese culture, a certain delicacy of feeling. For me the standout word that makes this powerful is the personification of snow in ‘humiliates’. That is a wonderful and unexpected word and captures so much. Well done. Reply Wu "Sacred Bee" Li December 20, 2018 1. Mr. Zawadzky’s putting forth his poetic translation of Tang poet and prosist Han Yu is a service to English literature for several reasons, not least of all that he is a native Polish speaker. 2. As Mr. Sale has pointed out, the four lines of Han Yu, translated by Mr. Zawadzky into four iambic hexametres with a rhyme scheme aaba, capture a certain “delicacy of feeling”. 3. Han Yu in his day supported the Classical Prose Movement, harkening back to the unadorned prose of the Han dynasty. He was an advocate of guwen over the more ornamental pianwen. 4. Of him, Su Shi (1037-1101) wrote: “His prose reversed the literary decline of eight dynasties”. 5. In the violence of his passion for Confucianism he wrote such works, as his scathing “Memorial on the Finger Bone of Buddha”, for which he was exiled for a while, as well as works, like “On Teaching”. Han Yu argued fiercely against both Daoism and Buddhism. 6. I likewise found Mr. Zawadzky’s essay comparing and contrasting Modernist Robinson Jeffers’ (1887-1962) inhumanism to ancient Chinese Lao Tzü’s unconcern of some interest. 7. This week I read Bertrand Russell’s short essay on the extraordinary Polish-English short story writer and novelist Joseph Conrad (1857-1924). There are so many interesting comments in it, but one came to the fore after reading Mr. Zawadzky: Conrad’s “views on the future of China ‘strike a chill into one’s soul'”. 8. This week I was also concerned with another Tang writer. I took a poem of his and slipped pieces of it into a tennos. I would not say “My Ship” is a translation of a poem by Li Bai (602-762), but I did try to capture some of the poem’s essence. 9. My Ship My ship is built of spice-wood with a rudder of mulan. Musicians play their bamboo flutes and pipes of golden-tan. Such pleasure of sweet wine and singing girls on the waves; I’m happier than airy fairies on the yellow crane. With strokes of my inspired pen, I see Five Mountains rise. I laugh, and my delight is vaster than the sea and sky. Enduring poetry, Chu Yuan, loyal minister, though palaces of the Chu kings have vanished in time’s stir, your words have lasted centuries, as has the River Han. The Yangtse tributary still goes on and on and on. 10. Chu Yuan lived from 435-482. The Han River through Chaozhou was named after Han Yu. Reply Jarek February 3, 2019 My name is spelled with an “i” not “y” at the end: Zawadzki 🙂 Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.