by Ono Fuyumi
translated by Aili
and then translated again by Retrooo
©ONO FUYUMI, PINPOINT INC.
last modified, 08.31.2006
SEEING THE LIBRARIAN CHAO JIAN OFF ON HIS RETURN TO JAPAN
The end of the accumulated waters cannot be reached,
by Wang Wei
So how does one know of the east of the blue sea?
How far away are the nine territories?
Going ten thousand miles is like riding upon the sky.
Facing that country, one simply sees the sun.
Returning ships only follow the wind.
The turtle's body reflects the darkness of the heavens.
The fish's eyes redden the waves.
The local trees are away from the Hibiscus.
You, master, are in the middle of the solitary island.
The separation's location is in another realm,
Though correspondence still passes through.
[note: obviously, i am not an expert at translating tang poetry,
so this is but an attempt. there are many allusions in the piece, as is standard
in any good chinese poem, but the following are some that i thot might need more
explicit mention: the nine territories of line 3, jiuzhou, may refer to china, or
to japan (kyuushuu); the hibiscus mentioned in line 9 refers to a great tree, fusang,
from which the sun springs every morning, and it has come to represent japan.]