Translation: “Bodhisattva’s Gold Headdress, ” attributed to Li Qingzhao

“Bodhisattva’s Gold Headdress”
Attributed to Li Qingzhao
Translated by Andrew Grimes Griffin

Golden sparrows fly above clouds of dark hair,
Worried eyebrows hold back pale spring’s  thin mists.
Hibiscus fragrance suffuses the closed chamber,
Screened off by layers of receding mountains.

Shuttered in by cold weather she longs for daybreak,
Still bound up  like lettuce leaves around its tender heart.
Tears streak her clothing with face powder,
She asks which day will see his return?

Translated by AGG20151015

Depth charge: Again, a poem of questionable provenance, but attributed to Li Qingzhao in the book that I am using as the basis for this project, and again there is no existing English translation that I could locate, so I am forced to do my own.

菩萨蛮·李清照
绿云鬓上飞金雀⑴,愁眉敛翠春烟薄。香阁掩芙蓉,画屏山几重。
窗寒天欲曙,犹结同心苣⑵。啼粉污罗衣⑶,问郎何日归?

Púsà mán·lǐqīngzhào
lǜ yúnbìn shàng fēi jīn què ⑴, chóuméi liǎn cuì chūn yān báo. Xiāng gé yǎn fúróng, huà píngshān jǐ zhòng.
Chuāng hántiān yù shǔ, yóu jié tóngxīn jù ⑵. Tí fěn wū luō yī ⑶, wèn láng hé rì guī?

Bodhisattva/headdress/ Li Qingzhao
Green-cloud[Dark clouds-said of the abundant hair of a beautiful woman]/hair on temples/above/fly/gold/sparrows[here indicating hair ornaments], worry/eyebrow/restrain/jade green/spring/mist/indifferent. Incense/boudoir/closed/hibiscus, picture/screen/mountain/several/layers.
Shutter/cold/weather/desire/daybreak, still/bind/concentric/lettuce [also entwined double wick, pattern on clothing and common wishes]. To weep/powder/defile/gauze/clothing, ask/young gentleman/which/day/return?

guoande seal script jpegTo read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”
To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”
To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffin just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

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One thought on “Translation: “Bodhisattva’s Gold Headdress, ” attributed to Li Qingzhao

  1. Pingback: The Spider: A Response to “Bodhisattva’s Gold Headdress,” Attributed to Li Qingzhao | tankawanka

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