‘Lyrics from the Chinese’, in Chinese

I am coming to the end of the 12-month research and script development period for a bilingual script based on themes from contemporary NI and the life of Helen Waddell, and her collection of poems based on the ancient Lyrics from the Chinese, which was published 100 years ago this year. Lyrics… was monumental for Helen’s career, and brought recognition to a woman who was truly ahead of her time. Given that Helen’s translations of Lyrics… was her translation of an English translation of ancient Chinese poetry, I thought it fitting to have some of the poems that inspired my script translated back into Chinese. One of them is about sexism and politics, an issue which is still relevant :

Helen Waddell的《中國詩詞》第 22:

智者之慧吾之力,

女子之慧吾之禍。

男子辛勞構城牆,

女子反手亦摧之。

男子難逃女狡黠,

到頭難免一場空。

聰慧直至身病時,

紛擾征戰均緣起。

女子休得參國事,

原本應歸灶臺地。

誤將聰智化利器,

自當守得織布機。

Poem 22:

The wise man’s wisdom is our strength,

The woman’s wisdom is our bane.

The men build up the city walls

For women to tear down again.

No man from any woman’s wit

Hath yet learned aught of any worth,

For wise is she, but unto ill,

To bring disorder on the earth.

What does she in affairs of State?

Her place is in the inner room.

Her wisdom doth least hurt in this,

To mind the silkworm and the loom.

Many thanks to the Arts Council NI for their support through the Minority Ethnic Artist Award scheme, to Lou and the Anson family for their generosity, and Dr. Jennifer Fitzgerald for her expertise.

arts council - lottery

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s