Sunday, 25 March 2012

Gui Lin (Li Jiang River)

By Hon(g)Shun c.1990

Living in the verdant lotus-mountains,
Not yearning the flowers blooming in the Sha-Yang county field.
Along the winding river are cottages and stone alleys,
With sweet morning mist and emerald leaves in the glow of sunrise.

(translated by Dr. Jinwen Chen research scientist CanmetENERGY,NRCan,GOC)

Living in the Green-Lotus Valley
Envious of flower blossoms in Sand-Shine County,
Stone-path, tiny house overlooking a winding creek,
Mountain mists and fragrant leaves loftier than morning dews.

(translated by Tony Tung, Small Hydro Consultant, Ottawa)


Context for Gui Lin (Li Jiang River)
This poem about mountain & river scenery of Guilin (Li-Jiang River) was
written by chief chef Hon(g) Shun in the Tian-Hu Hotel (Guilin in Hangzhou Province, China) to wish me a pleasant trip. Mr.Shun had served our trade delegation many sumptuous banquets for which I thanked him with a gold maple leaf pin.

I asked two colleagues to translate this very cursive script, with the results above....both beautiful poems in their own right.

I wonder if this is a traditional Chinese verse form like Haiku is in Japan. The most significant point is the the first translation implies that Mr Shun misses his lowland ancestral home while the second is explicit about it.

The Lijiang River

The Lijiang River is a river in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China.
The Li River’s reputation as the most beautiful in all China rests on a stretch totalling less than a quarter of its length; the 60-odd miles (100 kilometres) starting in Guilin and heading south. Here dramatic karst outcrops, dense vegetation and the clear, winding river itself create magical vistas which loom large in the Chinese imagination, having inspired art and verse for centuries.
Outside of the main cities, the painters and poets who so prized the river would find life going on here much as they remember it…. water buffalo tilling terraced rice paddies, fishers angling off bamboo rafts often using tethered cormorants, vendors in market towns selling the bounty of this fertile region.
The river is a year-round delight, just as stunning under blazing blue skies or wrapped in winter mists. From Guilin to Yangshuo there’s never a dull stretch, but most agree that the scenic high point comes about two-thirds the way along, at the area between the towns of Yangdi and Xingping.
http://www.china-tour.cn/China-Pictures/Li_River.htm

Li River is the soul of Guilin scenery. It is the river of poems and paintings. There is a popular Chinese saying that the mountains and waters of Guilin are the best under heaven. Hanyu vividly described the enchanting beauty of the Lijiang River in his poem: The River looks like a blue silk ribbon, and the mountains resemble emerald hairpins."
The Li River is famous for its beauty of four unique: verdant mountains, fragrant waters, mysterious grottoes, and exquisite rocks. Along the river, there are deep pools, dangerous shoals, murmuring springs, and roaring waterfalls. Going downstream in a tourist boat, one can enjoy spectacular views of crowded towering peaks along the riverbanks, waterfalls suspending over forests of rocks, and their crashing sprays upon jutting rocks. The region covers 83-km karst area with clear, exotic, ingenious and changing characteristics.
http://igoasia.blogspot.ca/2011/08/china-tour-travel-tips-advice-on-your.html

Li Jiang (Li River cruise view) by Karuna62



Peoples of the River Li by igoasia.blogspot.com

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