Xu Zhi-mo

  Poems translated by YK Kwan © 2011
         All Rights Reserved
Xu Zhi-mo 徐志摩

Was born of a well-to-do family, married at the
age of 19 with Zhang You-yi張幼儀as arranged
by his parents before he completed his course
at Beiyang University which later merged with
Beijing University. He studied law and politics.
His first son was born when he was 22. He then
studied at Columbia University in USA and got
an MA degree in economics. He was in touch
with Bertrand Russell and H.G. Wells in
England. He studied at the London School of
Economics and later King’s College at
Cambridge when he was 24.

His wife visited him in England and they agreed
to have a divorce in 1922 when he was 26.
He met Lin Yui-yin林徵恩at Cambridge and was
deeply in love with her. Lin studied architecture
and literature at the time. The romance however,
did not last long. She went back to China and
finally married梁思成,the son of Xu’s mentor,
Liang Qi-chao梁啓超. Both madam Lin and her
husband Liang were leading architects of the
new Republic with many publications.

In Shanghai, Xu founded a new periodical called
“New Moon” 新月月刋and was highly popular
because of its quality and diverse coverage on
matters of literature and current affairs. In
Beiping, 北平 he met Lu Xiao-man陸小曼. Lu
was at the time the wife of a mutual friend. Lu
later divorced her husband and married Xu in
1926. They moved to live in Shanghai and Lu
lived in style in a gardened house and well-
staffed by servants. Xu was invited by Hu Xi-zhi
胡適之 to teach at Beijing University in 1931. He
was a weekly traveler between Beiping, Nanjing
and Shanghai at the time. He was killed in a
plane crash in Shangdong. He was 34.
Throughout his short life, Xu had been a
renowned poet, novelist, editor and critic.


輕輕的我走了 正如我輕輕的來 
我輕輕的招手 作別西天的雲彩
那河畔的金柳 是夕陽中的新娘
波光裏的豔影 在我心頭蕩漾
但我不能放歌 悄悄是別離的笙簫
夏蟲也為我沉默 沉默是今晚的康橋
悄悄的我走了  正如我悄悄的來 
我揮一揮衣袖  不帶走一片雲彩

Goodbye Cambridge         

Softly I’m away,
As I’ve come the other day.
I lightly bid goodbye,
To the clouds in the western sky.
The golden willow by the river bund,
Turns into a bride in the setting sun.
Your radiant image in the water floats,
In my heart, on and on it rolls.
I cannot sing to my heart’s content,
My parting music is merely reticence.
Summer crickets turn mute for me,
Tonight’s Cambridge is taciturnity.        
Quietly I’ll be on my way,
As quietly I’ve come the other day.
Waving my sleeve, bidding goodbye,
Leaving all colors untampered with in the sky.


難得 夜這般的清靜 難得 爐火這般的溫
更是難得 無言的相對 一雙寂寞的靈魂!

也不必籌營 也不必評論 更沒有虛憍 猜忌與嫌僧
只靜靜的坐對著一爐火 只靜靜的默數遠蒼的更         
喝一口白水 朋友 滋潤你的乾裂的口脣
你添上幾塊煤 朋友 一爐的紅燄感念你的殷勤.
在冰冷的冬夜 朋友 人們方始珍重難得的爐薪
在這冰冷的世界 方始凝結了少數同情的心!

Special Encounter

Exquisite, such a refreshing night hush,
Exquisite, from the fireplace, such a warm flush.
More special, two silent people,
Watching a pair of lonely souls.
There’s no planning ahead,
No discussion on good or bad.
No room for wangle, suspicion,
Or hatred for this and that.
Just sitting across the fire, watching,
Silently counting the distant drumming.
Swallow a gulp of water my friend,
Quench your blistering lips.
Top up some coal, my friend,
The leaping flames would appreciate it.
In a cold winter night above all,
A stove of fire would be more sought for.
Only this cold wide world,
Can forge together some hearts of pearl.


我是天空裡的一片雲 偶爾投影在你的波心
你不必訝異 更無須歡喜 在轉瞬間消滅了蹤影

你我相逢在黑夜的海上 你有你的 我有我的 方向
你記得也好 最好你忘掉 在這交會時互放的光亮

An Odd Chance

I am a lone cloud in the sky, drifting.
Casting by chance a shadow,
On your heart, rippling.
Do not be dazed;
Do not be amazed,
By the shadow of a fleeting face.

We encounter in a pitch dark sea,
Your course, whatever that be,
Is not mine, however.
It’s good to remember,
Better still to forget,
The radiance of our encounter!


她是睡著了--- 星光下一朵斜欹的白蓮
她入夢境了--- 香爐裏裊起一縷碧螺煙
她是眠熟了--- 澗泉幽抑了喧響的琴弦
她在夢鄉了--- 粉蝶兒,翠蝶兒,翻飛的熱戀
停勻的呼吸 清芬滲透了她的周遭的清氛
懷抱著 撫摩著 她纖纖的身形
奢侈的光陰 靜 沙沙的盡是閃亮的黃金
平舖著無垠---  波鱗間輕漾著光艷的艇.
醉心的光景 給我披一件彩衣 
啜一罈芳醴 折一枝藤花 
舞 在葡萄叢中 癲倒 昏迷
看呀 美麗! 三春的顏色移上了她的香肌
是玫瑰 是月季 是朝影裏的水仙 鮮妍 芳菲!
夢底的幽祕 挑逗她的心---純潔的靈魂---
像一只蜂兒 在花心恣意的唐突---溫存

She’s Asleep

She’s asleep, a reclining white lily under starlight,
She’s in dreamland,
Purple incense smoke rising in a spiral flight.
She’s in slumber-land,
Musical strings turned into a murmuring spring.
She’s in dreamland,
Butterflies, white and green, in love’s passionate dancing.
Her rhythmic breath, sent fragrance in the air,
Embracing her, caressing her, slender lady fair.
Extravagant time flows,
What flickers is only the glittering gold,
Spreading without bounds,
Fluttering on the ripples around the boat.
Intoxicating time,
Finds me a cloak of multi-colored kind,
Drinking from a jar of wine.
Holding a bough of creeper flowers;
Dancing under grapevine.
Falling over, passing out.
Beauty itself, lo!
Colour of spring is all over her,
Like a rose, a laurel;
A morning river daffodil,
Fresh and fragrant.
Secret dreams, teasing her bosom,
Her pure soul.
Like a bee rummaging open blossom,
Indulging and bold.
Wise talk
History of China
"Butterfly Lovers"
Lyric verses
Yi Jing
Famous picture
Chinese tea
A true story
Book talk
Martial arts
Chinese names
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