主持人王如利（Wang Ruli）丁立群（Ding Liqun）
How to pass the high summer? Dear Reader, just as Bai Juyi says, “A quiet mind dispels heat; an empty house enjoys the cool.” For this issue of Chinese Verse in English Rhyme,we feel greatly honored that Prof. Zhang Zhizhong has accepted our invitation to translate the poem. Prof. Zhang's translation, free from any restraint of end rhyme that many Chinese translators try to pursue, is popular and accessible, just like the original poem, and like a breeze it will bring you a different and pleasant feeling.
书法：蔡铁勇销夏（唐）白居易何以销烦暑，端居一院中。眼前无长物，窗下有清风。热散由心静，凉生为室空。此时身自得，难更与人同。SummeringBai Juyi (Tang Dynasty)Translated by Zhang ZhizhongHow to pass the high summerwhen I am sitting in the courtyardenclosed with high walls?My eyes see nothing substantialto produce shade; a faint breeze,by the window, is fanning.A quiet mind dispels heat;an empty house enjoys the cool.Now I feel at ease, enjoyinga carefree rest, which is a strangerto the rest of the world.
The Translator's Comment
标题“销夏”的英译，采取summer的动词形式：“过夏天，避暑”之意。因此，summering, 简洁而形象。例如：We summered in the mountains.（我们在山中避暑。）
汉诗一、二行，对应英文How to pass the high summer when I am sitting in the courtyard enclosed with high walls? 汉语2行，英译3行出之，enclosed with high walls（高墙四围），乃深层之译，增补而出，强调“烦暑”之困扰。其中，形容词high重复，但语义略微不同，带来译诗的玩味之处。
汉诗三、四行，对应My eyes see nothing substantial to produce shade; a faint breeze, by the window, is fanning. 同样，汉语2行，英译3行。“无长物”在汉语中语义宽泛，相应的英文nothing substantial to produce shade（没有什么可以遮阴的实物）走向了具体。“清风”，英译a faint breeze ... is fanning, 如此搭配，带来新鲜的语感，特别是fanning（像扇子一样吹风），正描写了清风无计可销夏的微弱之风。另外，从音韵的角度而言，see, substantial 押头韵，shade, faint押元音韵，faint, fanning与breeze, by分别形成跨行头韵。如此音韵技法，在当代英诗中，远比尾韵更为常见。
汉诗五、六行，对应A quiet mind dispels heat; an empty house enjoys the cool. 大体直译，采用陌生化搭配，取得良好效果。这里的cool为名词，前置定冠词，往往表示“凉爽，凉气”之意。例如：enjoy the cool of the evening.（纳晚凉。）
汉诗七、八行，Now I feel at ease, enjoying a carefree rest, which is a stranger to the rest of the world. 再次，汉语2行，英译3行出之。“身自得”之英译，用了at ease和enjoying a carefree rest两个短语，乃充分翻译。英语词典上例句：Yaks are enjoying a carefree rest in the water.（牦牛在水中悠然自得。）随后的a stranger to the rest of the world（世人对此陌生），可能对国内读者的理解带来挑战，但对于熟悉英语-er类词语妙用的读者来说，却会带来惊喜之感。另外，这里的两个rest，词形相同，含义却异，也带来一定的语言审美效果。
There are 8 lines in the Chinese poem and 11 lines in the English version; the Chinese poem is with end rhyme and the English version is without end rhyme, free without any restraint. Translation without considering the number of lines and the end rhyme caters to Western readers instead of Chinese translators.
In translating the title of “销夏”, the verb of summer has been chosen, which means to spend the summer or to prevent sunstroke. Therefore, “summering”, as the title, is vivid and concise. For example: “We summered in the mountains.”
Lines 1 and 2 correspond the English version: “How to pass the high summer when I am sitting in the courtyard enclosed with high walls?” Chinese 2 lines into English 3 lines. “Enclosed with high walls” is added information, so as to highlight the heat of summer. And the word “high” is repeated with slight variance in meaning, which adds flavor to the translated poem.
The English version of lines 3 and 4: “My eyes see nothing substantial to produce shade; a faint breeze, by the window, is fanning.” Again, Chinese 2 lines into English 3 lines. “无长物” has a broad meaning, and its English counterpart “nothing substantial to produce shade” is much more concrete. The Chinese word “清风” has been translated into “a faint breeze ... is fanning”: such collocation brings a sense of novelty, particularly, “fanning” felicitously describes the weak wind which fails to subvert the height of summer. In addition, concerning rhyme, there is alliteration in “see” and “substantial”, assonance in “shade” and “faint”, as well as cross-line alliteration in “faint” and “fanning”, “breeze” and “by”. This kind of rhyming skill is more often seen in contemporary English poetry, compared with the end rhyme.
Lines 5 and 6: “A quiet mind dispels heat; an empty house enjoys the cool.” Literal translation is used here, and defamiliarization is effective here. When used as a noun, “cool” is often prefixed with a definite article to signify something cool or cold. For example: enjoy the cool of the evening.
Lines 7 and 8: “Now I feel at ease, enjoying a carefree rest, which is a stranger to the rest of the world.” Again, Chinese 2 lines into English 3 lines. In translating “身自得”, two English phrases have been used: “at ease” and “enjoying a carefree rest”, so as to bring out the rich meaning in the original. An example from the English dictionary: “Yaks are enjoying a carefree rest in the water.” The phrasing of “a stranger to the rest of the world” may defy understanding by the Chinese readers, yet the occasional use of such a word ending with -er usually brings a pleasant surprise to the English readers. Besides, the repetition of “rest” with different meanings also subjects the readers to an aesthetic experience in wording.
In short, the ultimate readers of C-E poetry translation are those from the English-speaking world, and in choosing a translation strategy, consideration is made for them. A successful translated poem should be, or at least aim to be a sterling English poem, even like a literary piece produced by a first-rate English poet.
Zhang Zhizhong obtained a doctor's degree in translation studies from Nankai University, and he has done his postdoctoral study in aesthetics of poetry translation at Henan University. He is now director of Translation Studies Center of Tianjin Normal University, and professor of Foreign Languages College of Tianjin Normal University. Meanwhile, he is guest editor of The World Poets Quarterly and vice chairman of International Poetry Translation and Research Centre. Until now, he has published over 80 books and 100 academic paper. Besides, he has published his own poems. In 2018,his monograph An Aesthetic Study of C-E Translation Poetry won the third prize at the 15th Excellent Achievements in Social Sciences of Tianjin. He has finished An Aesthetic Study of English Translation of Chinese Poetry, a project funded by the National Social Science Foundation of China, and A Study of the Styles and Schools of C-E Poetry Translation, a key project funded by Tianjin Social Science Foundation. Now he is undertaking A Study of the Translation of Chinese Poetry in the English World, a project funded by the National Social Science Foundation of China. His English translation of Chinese poetry is widely acclaimed throughout the world, and is favorably reviewed by international poets and translators. His view on poetry translation: spirit over form, prose enjambment to rewrite Chinese poetry into sterling English poetry.