Friday, July 8, 2016

Juxtapositions: Moon

From Sky and Telescope.

[Every translation is a failure. As the philosophers say: any merit belongs to others, and all errors are my own.]


Thoughts on a Quiet Night 
Before I go to bed, the moon shines bright;
I don't know if the frost has fallen yet.
I lift my head and stare at the bright moon;
I bow my head and think of how the country used to be. 

静夜思
床前明月光, 
疑是地上霜。
举头望明月,
低头思故乡。

—李白 Lǐ Bǎi


To the Moon
You lovely moon—I remember coming here,
so anxious, to this hill to stare at you
at the turning of the year. How you loomed there
over this wood; how when you do, you shine!
But now I shiver, clouded, from the tears
that soak my lashes: and then your face smiles
in my eyes. My life has been so painful,
and so it is; and its style stays the same,
oh moon, my lover moon. And yet the memory
delights me, and the memory of the epoch
of my grief. In time of youth (when hope still has
so far a way to go, and memory so short),
which needs the thankful remembrance of things past,
how sad those things still are—and how the panic lasts!

Alla Luna
O graziosa luna, io mi rammento
Che, or volge l'anno, sovra questo colle
Io venia pien d'angoscia a rimirarti:
E tu pendevi allor su quella selva
Siccome or fai, che tutta la rischiari.
Ma nebuloso e tremulo dal pianto
Che mi sorgea sul ciglio, alle mie luci
Il tuo volto apparia, che travagliosa
Era mia vita: ed è, nè cangia stile,
O mia diletta luna. E pur mi giova
La ricordanza, e il noverar l'etate
Del mio dolore. Oh come grato occorre
Nel tempo giovanil, quando ancor lungo
La speme e breve ha la memoria il corso,
Il rimembrar delle passate cose,
Ancor che triste, e che l'affanno duri! 

—Giacomo Leopardi

1 comment:

  1. Lovely! And here is a moon-related classic of old-time Chinese pop music: 月亮代表我的心 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hj4bnnek9MU

    ReplyDelete