Mountain Call and Mountain Response

Published on October 9, 2020
Last updated on November 21, 2020
Categories: chinese, poetry, translation and zh

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After reading "A Gift from "Endlessly Stupid" to a New Hermit", Chris Stasse responded with a poem of his own, "Hermit Replies to Stupid" 《傻隐回复》.





Rough translation, 2020-11-21:

At night I lie in the mountains. It's quieter when birds sing

Strangers aren't likely to approach this lonely wilderness

My car is cold. I'm lonely. My thoughts twist around

One day away from home is like ten months

Naturally, I wanted to reply in kind. My goal was to show I had grokked Chris's poem by restating its sentiments in different words.

In addition, I challenged myself to work within the constraints of a line-internal rhyme scheme: the 2nd, 4th, and 7th (final) syllables of each line all share an ending sound.

I think it turned out rather well. Judge for yourself:


(For those who read Chinese, 尨 is here pronounced meng2, not mang2 as you might expect: the former is an archaic reading meaning "jumbled.")

Rough translation, 2021-01-11:

The skies are cold. His thoughts are jumbled. Bird calls alternate with silence

Above the mountains, the Milky Way reveals itself to no one

In this remote place, he is lonely. His emotions thrash forward and back

Goodbye to home, farewell to Dad and, now, a touch of fear

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