Monday, July 9, 2018

Verses on a Line-Fishing Platform, by Jakdan

Jakdan wrote four poems in seven-syllable quatrains with an AAxA rhyme scheme, a style not found in the Staatsbibliothek poems, but similar to the form used in some Sibe epic poems like Ba na-i ucun and Hašigar ucun (though Jakdan did not use the Mongolian-influenced head-rhyme that those poems employ).

The seven-syllable quatrain form does not require the same rhyme to be used throughout the poem, and this one uses a different rhyme in each quatrain. Jakdan often ends his poems with a remark to the reader on the poem itself, which can be seen in this poem as well as in his Plum Blossoms and Lotus Flowers.

The topic of the poem is a fishing platform associated in tradition with Yán Guāng [嚴光], a high official of the Eastern Han who was styled Zǐlíng [子陵].

nimaha welmiyere karan
be irgebuhe irgebun
    Verses on a Line-Fishing Platform
Jakdan 8.18
fu cun alin yan dzy ling,    Yán Zǐlíng of Fùchūn [富春] mountain,
te welmiyere karan jing,    now frequents a line-fishing platform,
ninggun biya-i furdehe,    in a fur jacket, even in the sixth month,
jilan beki tuwakiyan teng,

    strong in compassion, resolute in watchfulness.

5han gurun i han guwang u,    Emperor Hàn Guāngwǔ of the Hàn dynasty,
siyan šeng ini fe gucu,    the master being an old friend of his,
emu erin kidufi,    one time was missing him,
werešehei šuwe akū,

    and sought him out, but he was gone.

arkan acaha erin,    They had barely met when
10amban obuci sain,    he thought it good to make him an official.
canjurame acafi    They clasped hands on meeting.
yaka baisin ya ejen,

    Which one is unemployed, and which is lord?

hafan ohongge waka,    He was not to be an official,
yala somiha saisa,    but indeed, a reclusive sage,
15emu bade dedufi,    spending the night in one place,
guwelke dzy wei usiha,

    attentive to the northern stars.

aibi gebu ai gungge,    Where is fame, what is merit?
ula tenggin hon hojo,    Rivers and lakes are very beautiful.
hanja girutu ujen,    Taking honesty and humility seriously,

bolgo algin tetele,

    his reputation is clean even now.

minggan jalan goidapi,    Though a thousand generations may pass,
entekengge hon seri,    people like him will be scarce.
ere ucun arafi,    I have made this song,
sain durun obuki    and now you give it good form.

Translation Notes

te welmiyere karan jing / ninggun biya-i furdehe. There is no verb here, but it if you have a fishing platform and a fur jacket, presumably the subject is on the former and wearing the latter.

dzy wei usiha. The “Purple Forbidden Enclosure” (zǐ wēi yuán, 紫微垣) refers to the northern part of the sky, whose stars circle the north star and do not drop below the horizon.

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