Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How Many Tears

Li Yu (李煜 • li3 yu4) was the last emperor of the Southern Tang dynasty. He was known as Li Houzhu (李後主 • li3 hou4zhu3), literally "the latter Lord Li"; as Houzhu of Southern Tang (南唐後主 • nan2 tang2 hou4zhu3), literally "the latter lord of Southern Tang", and posthumously, as Prince of Wu (吳王• wu2 wang2).
He was also a poet. His best-known poems were composed during the years after the Song formally ended his reign in 975. He was created the Marquess of Wei Ming (違命侯 • wei2 ming4 hou2), literally, the Marquess of Disobeyed Edicts. Li's works from this period dwell on his regret for the lost kingdom and the pleasures it had brought him.

"How Many Tears" or "Gazing at the South" is one of his poems from this later period.

多少淚
duo1shao5 lei4
(how)(many)(tears)
斷臉復橫頤
duan4 lian3 fu4 heng2 yi2
(cut)(face)(repeat)(across)(cheek)
心事莫將和淚說
xin1shi4 mo4 jiang1he2 lei4 shuo1
(worry)(not)(with) (together)(tears)(speak)
鳳笙休向淚時吹
feng4 sheng1 xiu1 xiang4 lei4 shi2 chui1
(Phoenix)(flute)(not)(to)(tears)(time)(play)
腸斷更無疑
chang2 duan4 geng4 wu2 yi2
(Heart)(break)(more)(without)(doubt)

The following english translation is from www.chinese-poems.com

"How many tears
Criss-cross your cheeks and run across your face!
Don't try to speak when worry makes you weep,
Nor play the flute when it will bring your tears,
Or surely then your heart will break."


You can practice the chinese pronunciation for this poem using Pinyin Talker. Remember, this tool is not meant to simulate natural speech but it will give you a clear pronunciation model for each of the syllables


Credits:
Li Houzhu. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved September 10, 2007, from Answers.com Web site: http://www.answers.com/topic/li-houzhu


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