Monday, November 19, 2012

Lesson 6: 静夜思 Jìng yè sī by Li Bai

床前明月光, Chuáng qián míng yuè guāng,
 疑是地上霜。 Yí shì dì shàng shuāng.
 举头望明月, Jŭ tóu wàng míng yuè,
 低头思故乡。 Dī tóu sī gù xiāng.

Bright moonlight before my bed,
Seems like frost upon the floor;
I raise my head and watch the moon,
Then lower it down and think of home. (Translation by Christopher Evans - taken from here.

Here's a cartoon with a child reciting the poem:

Here's a sung rendition of the poem (in Chinese and English) along with beautiful photos of China:


静 (jìng) comes from "quiet" or 安静 (ān jìng)
夜 (yè) means "night", which threw me off the track since I'm only familiar with 晩 (wǎn) as in 晚上 (wǎn shang)?
思 (sī) means "to think". Again, I couldn't relate to this word at all since I only know of 想 (xiǎng).

Thus, is the title of the poem "Quiet Night Thoughts" Or "Quiet Night Thoughts"?

Nonetheless, it's good to learn some new Chinese vocabulary and a lovely poem.

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