Pear Blossom 梨花詩
By Yuan Xi from White Cloud Poetry Society | Version A | Translated by Translated by Jennifer Zeng and Damian Robin
Standing alone in Spring, whose courtyard is this?
Briskly, east wind overspills the wall,
A thousand trees of sudden burning snow,
pear blossom’s fragrance scorching lane and trail.
Night descends, they beacon back the moon.
At daybreak, they’re caressed by misty cool.
While Qingming*’s coming, they’re first to grasp Spring’s soul,
making this far-off place beautiful.
I’m wondering: were they beings cast down
to earth, to experience, whole, life’s jail?
In cold night dreams they still remember lightness,
home beyond the cloudy mountains’ rail.
Version B | Translated by Jennifer Zeng and Gerard Traub
Standing alone in the Spring
Whose courtyard is this?
The east wind arrives with vigor
A thousand trees suddenly blooming in white
The fragrance of pear flowers reaching every remote lane and trail
As night descends
They beam under the bright moonlight
When daylight breaks
They are tenderly caressed by the cool mist
With Qingming* near in sight
They are first to catch the essence of spring
Beautiful in this remote corner of the world
I wonder whether they were once other beings
Cast down to earth to experience life here
Within their dreams in the cold of night
They still remember their homes
Beyond the cloudy mountains
* The Qingming or Ching Ming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day in English, is a traditional Chinese festival on the first day of the fifth solar term of the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. This makes it the 15th day after the Spring Equinox, either 4 or 5 April in a given year. Other common translations include Chinese Memorial Day and Ancestors' Day.
文：白雲詩社 元曦 | 英文翻譯：曾錚