Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Returning home

Returning home as an old man, Nantoyōsō Collection, Japan. Click to enlarge.

Here's a translation of this poem:

I left my home when I was young; grown old I now return,
The village accent remains the same, but my temple hair has thinned.
The children gaze, not knowing who I am,
'Oh guest,' with smiles they shout, 'Where are you from?'

This poem was written by He Zhizhang (賀知章, 659–744 CE). The translation is by Ch'en Shou-yi, in Chinese Literature: A Historical Introduction, Taipei, 1967, p. 238.