"Two Cups of Tea" - Tang Dynasty Poem

Many Chinese poems over thousands of years are about tea. I'd like to share them with the world. Yesterday, I translated "Two Cups of Tea" - my goals is to translate the feeling of the poem more than the direct word-by-word translation. Let me know what you think!

"Two Cups of Tea" by Bai Juyi

A meal enjoyed, and sleep then fills the night,

Awakening, two cups of tea invite.

I lift my eyes to watch the sun's descent,

Its golden glow to the southwest now bent.

Joyful souls lament the fleeting day,

While anxious minds dread years that won't delay.

For those beyond both cheer and pain,

Accept life's course, let destiny reign.

"Two Cups of Tea" is a poem by Bai Juyi, a distinguished poet from the Tang Dynasty, reflecting on the fleeting nature of time and the various human emotions that arise from it. The poem showcases Bai Juyi's desire for a peaceful, leisurely life, and his skill in conveying deep emotions through vivid, relatable imagery. Set against the rich cultural backdrop of the Tang Dynasty, the poem uses tea as a symbol of tranquility amidst life's uncertainties.

This poem conveys the sun's descent and the contrasting reactions of different individuals to the passage of time, highlighting universal themes of ephemerality and emotional attachment to worldly concerns. The final stanza encourages readers to embrace life's natural course, showcasing the timeless wisdom and beauty of Bai Juyi's work.

Tagged with: Poetry Translation

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