02 October, 2009

Famous poem in Hanshan Temple, Suzhou

Hanshan Temple is famed in East Asia because of the poem "A Night Mooring
by Maple Bridge" (楓橋夜泊), by Tang Dynasty poet, Zhang Ji.

The poem describes the melancholy scene of a dejected traveller, moored at night
at Fengqiao, hearing the bells of Hanshan Temple:

月落烏啼霜滿天,(Yuè luò wū tí shuāng mǎn tiān),
in English (While I watch the moon go down, a crow caws through the frost);
in Japanese; 月落ち烏(からす)啼きて霜天に満つ

江楓漁火對愁眠。(Jiāng fēng yú huǒ duì chóu mián). 
in English (Under the shadows of maple-trees a fisherman moves with his torch) 
in Japanese ; 江楓(こうふう)漁火愁眠に対す。

姑蘇城外寒山寺,(Gūsū chéngwài Hánshán Sì),  
in English (And I hear, from beyond Suzhou, from the temple on Cold Mountain)
in Japanese; 姑蘇(こそ)城外の寒山寺

夜半鐘聲到客船。(Yèbàn zhōngshēng dào kèchuán).e
in English (Ringing for me, here in my boat, the midnight bell)
in Japanese; 夜半の鐘声客船に到る。

The poem is still popularly read in China, Japan and Korea. It is part of the
senior high school curriculum in both China and Japan. The ringing of the
bell at Hanshan Temple on Chinese New Year Eve is a major pilgrimage
and tourism event for visitors from these countries.

Any questions; write to keijihagiwara@gmail.com