Li Bai: An Ugly Woman Imitates Madame Pin

An Ugly Woman Imitates Madame Pin

丑 女 来 效 颦
丑 女 来 效 颦
还 家 惊 四 邻。
寿 陵 失 本 步
笑 杀 邯 郸 人。
一 曲 斐 然 子
雕 虫 丧 天 真。
棘 刺 造 沐 猴
三 年 费 精 神。
功 成 无 所 用
楚 楚 且 华 身。
大 雅 思 文 王
颂 声 久 崩 沦。
安 得 郢 中 质
一 挥 成 风 斤。

 

Chou Nu Lai Xiao Pin

Chou nu lai xiao pin
Huan jia jing si lin.
Shou ling shi ben bu
Xiao sha han dan ren.

Yi qu fei ran zi
Diao chong sang tian zhen.
Ji ci zao mu hou
San nian fei jing shen.

Gong cheng wu suo yong
Chu chu qie hua shen.
Da ya si wen wang
Song sheng jiu beng lun.
An dei ying zhong zhi
Yi hui cheng feng jin.

 

An Ugly Woman Imitates Madame Pin

Ugly woman copies the Han Dynasty beauty
Going back home, her neighbors surprised and frightened.
Young man from Shou Ling, his mistake to copy the way they walk in the capital
Handan people laughed at him till they almost died.

One song of striking literary talent
Government workers love to write in the Diao Chong style, but it comes out being naïve and juvenile.
Create carved monkeys on the thorns of the jing tree
A waste of spirit and energy for three years.

Some achieve successes without a place to utilize it
The well-born carry elegant things without using them.
I consider the Da Ya section the most cultured
For a long time the Book of Songs neglected and in decline.
How can one get to the essence of Ying Zhong
With one stroke achieve a fine wisp of a breeze.

 

Notes:
Han Dynasty: (206 BC to 220 AD)

Shou Ling: Area east of Guangzhou in Guangdong Province

Handan people: Area of southwest Hebei Province that was the cultural and commercial center for the State of Zhao during the Han Dynasty.

Diao Chong style: From “An Essay on Literature” by the famous Pei Ziye during the Han Dynasty. He criticized literature that was too ornate and frivolous.

Jing tree: Also known as pengzai or penjing in Chinese, and as “bonzai” in Japanese.

Da Ya section: A major section of the “Book of Songs” known as the “Major Court Hymns”.

Book of Songs: In Chinese, the Shijing is the oldest collections of ancient Chinese poetry. Three hundred and five works were compiled during the 11th to 7th centuries BC. Also famous as one of the Five Classics of Confucianism.

Ying Zhong: A type of Chinese herbal medicine.

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