Sunday 17 March 2013

李白 問余何意棲碧山,笑而不答心自閒。 You ask me why in the green mountains I reside.

【山中問答】(山中答俗人)  唐 • 李白 

問余何意(事)棲碧山,     笑而不答心自閒。
桃花流水窅然去,           別有天地非人間。


Shān Zhōng Wèn Dá
(Mountaineer Answering Secular Questions) 

-- by Li Bai (701-762)   
-- Translated by Frank C Yue

You ask me why in the green mountains I reside.
I smile and would not answer, my heart is at peace.
On quiet flowing streams, peach-blossoms gently ride
In this unworldly place where all things are at ease.


If you're well on your way to enlightenment, you may probably like the following renditions.

Here's my other version with more emphasis on the spirituality aspects of this poem by 詩仙 李白 Li Bai, the "Immortal Poet":

You ask why in these green mountains living am I.
My heart is at peace: I smile and would not reply.
Like the peach-flower borne away by the rambling brook,
To a non-secular world my spirit soars high!

... and here's another special "spiritual interpretation" (in Andrew W F Wong's words) by Monk Su Manshu 蘇曼殊 (苏曼殊 1884-1918):


You ask what my soul does away in the sky,
I inwardly smile but I cannot reply;
Like the peach-blossom carried away by the stream,
I soar to a world of which you cannot dream.

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