Thousands of Chinese Acres of Spring
When the budding of a tree isn’t closely observed
Rapini flowers have unfolded the season by their full blossoms
The golden dream of the earth thus rolls out under the cloud flowers
Is woven in the wind and undulates to the farthest in March
Rapini flowers have unrolled thousands of Chinese acres of spring
They spread green willfully disseminate yellow fervently
As if they aspire to dissect the spring into two halves
At a moment like this any language seems redundant
The mind jumps onto the clouds quite unexpectedly
And looks up at the spring from another angle
Downpouring Flower Ocean
Tapping to the beat of the spring clusters of dark green
Pin up golden hairclips one flower at first
Then a bunch a levee and a field
Following the ground undulation spread out into flower waves
The Rapini flowers easily cross over a river
Climb onto the terrace flood to the hills
The rolling waves are replicated by the spring again and again
Their adventurous eyes look higher and higher farther and farther
Their aroma scrubs the earth with the wind
A flower waterfall rushes down from a hill and runs a thousand miles
A Sweet Journey
Following the aroma of rapini flowers closest to the spring
Two butterflies carry happiness from one flower ocean
To another flower ocean A swarm of bees
Swing in the flowers trying to ripen the spring zephyr
Into a more intoxicating breeze All these elves
Play in the chest of the spring enchantedly and indulgently
On this sweet journey to the depth of the season
I am worried that the bees are too obsessed with brewing life
To remember time I am also worried the two butterflies
With tiny fragile wings can’t fly out of the boundless flower ocean
接着是一束 一垄 一大片
The reason that I selected these three poems is that I want to develop novel transcreation techniques and help to establish the transcreation subarea in China. Also, I hope that these poems can show English readers those kinds of objects that are often depicted by Chinese poets in the Chinese culture. These poems demonstrate not only the Chinese way of thinking but also the logic of the Chinese language, which may help to expand the English literature to some extent.
My translation of these three poems basically follows the classic Chinese translation theory of fidelity, that is, there isn’t much creative modification in my translation. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, when translating “肆意地绿” and “拼命地黄,” meaning “green recklessly and yellow desperately,” I used the expressions of “spread green willfully” and “disseminate yellow fervently” and thus transformed negative words into positive words.
In addition, I altered the meaning of “scrubs the earth in the wind” to “scrubs the earth with the wind” which sounds more logical. Also, I translated “靠近” which means “to get close to” to “closest to” in order to fit into the scene developed by the original text which depicts the spring views.
Considering a transcreation skill called restructuring on which I have performed some experiments, in the translation of “trying to ripen the spring zephyr,” the infinitive verb “to ripen” actually is restructured from the following line. This treatment handled an innate difference between the Chinese and English language by placing the infinitive verb “to ripen” before the object “the spring zephyr.”
Chen Du is a Voting Member of American Translators Association and a member of the Translators Association of China with a Master’s degree in biophysics from Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Master’s degree in radio physics from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. She has revised more than eight chapters of the Chinese translation of the biography of Helen Snow, Helen Foster Snow—An American Woman in Revolutionary China. She is the author of book Successful Personal Statements. Find her online at ofsea.com.
Mr. Dong Li is the author of books Lost in Maze (Chinese) and The Charm of Thoughts (Chinese). He is also a winner of the Chinese Young Poet Award 2018.