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Learn mandarin from professional recitation of a contemporary poem of love – To the Oak Tree

Posted by Grace Feng on April 10, 2012

Learn mandarin from professional recitation of a contemporary poem of love - To the Oak TreeTo learn mandarin from contemporary Chinese novels and poems should be an enjoyable process. If the genre of the novel does not trigger any interests of you, stop reading it. Go pick another one that you do feel like to know what’s going on between the covers.

Poems are the same. A poem that you don’t get at all will do nothing good to your language study. Even if you understand it, but you can’t actually see the beauty of it, it won’t help you at all. It will slide out of your long term memory sooner than you think.

Only the ones that did touch your heart one way or another could stay in your memory. Keep helping you, reminding you of what you’ve learned. Whenever you find one, cherish it.

Today, I’d like to introduce to you a popular contemporary Chinese poem, a poem that has been loved by many of my generation. You might like it, you might not. It’s your call. But at least you can listen to the professional recitation of the poem once, see how much you understand. Chinese, pinyin and English translation are provided below the audio player.

Give it a try …

[mp3j track=”zhi-xiang-shu.mp3″]

 

zhì xiàngshù
致橡树
To the Oak Tree

By 舒婷 shū tíng

 

wǒ rúguǒ ài nǐ——
我如果爱你——
If I love you —

juébù xiàng pānyuán de língxiāohuā
绝不像攀援的凌霄花
I will never be a clinging trumpet creeper

jiè nǐ de gāo zhī xuànyào zìjǐ
借你的高枝炫耀自己
Using your high boughs to show off my height

 

wǒ rúguǒ ài nǐ
我如果爱你 ——
If I love you —

juébù xué chīqíng de niǎor
绝不学痴情的鸟儿
I will never be a spoony bird

wéi lǜ yìn chóngfù dāndiào de gēqǔ
为绿荫重复单调的歌曲
Repeating a monotonous song for green shade
yě bùzhǐ xiàng quányuán
也不止像泉源
Or be a spring

chángnián sòng lái qīngliáng de wèijiè
常年送来清凉的慰藉
Bringing cool solace all year long

yě bùzhǐ xiàng xiǎnfēng
也不止像险峰
Or be a steep peak

zēngjiā nǐ de gāodù, chèntuō nǐ de wēiyí
增加你的高度,衬托你的威仪
Increasing your stature, reflecting your eminence

shènzhì rìguāng
甚至日光
Even the sunlight

shènzhì chūnyǔ
甚至春雨
Even the spring rain

bù, zhèxiē dōu hái bùgòu
不,这些都还不够
No, all these are not enough

 

wǒ bìxū shì nǐ jìn páng de yī zhū mùmián
我必须是你近旁的一株木棉
I must be a ceiba tree beside you

zuòwéi shù de xíngxiàng hé nǐ zhàn zàiyīqǐ
作为树的形象和你站在一起
Be the image of a tree standing together with you

gēn, jǐnwò zàidìxià
根,紧握在地下
Our roots, entwined underground

yè, xiāng chù zài yún lǐ
叶,相触在云里
Our leaves, touching in the clouds

měiyī zhènfēng guò
每一阵风过
With each gust of wind

wǒmen dōu hùxiāng zhìyì
我们都互相致意
We greet each other

dàn méiyǒu rén
但没有人
But nobody

tīngdǒng wǒmen de yányǔ
听懂我们的言语
Can understand our words

 

nǐ yǒu nǐ de tóng zhī tiě gàn
你有你的铜枝铁干
You’ll have your copper branches and iron trunk

xiàng dāo、 xiàng jiàn, yě xiàng jǐ
像刀、像剑,也像戟
Like knives, like swords, like halberds, too

wǒ yǒu wǒ de hóng shuò huāduǒ
我有我的红硕花朵
I’ll have my crimson flowers

xiàng chénzhòng de tànxī
像沉重的叹息
Like heavy sighs

yòu xiàng yīngyǒng de huǒjù
又像英勇的火炬
And valiant torches

wǒmen fēndān háncháo、 fēng léi、 pīlì
我们分担寒潮、风雷、霹雳
We’ll share cold spells, storms and thunder

wǒmen gòngxiǎng wù’ǎi、 liú lán、 hóng ní
我们共享雾霭、流岚、虹霓
We’ll share mists, hazes and rainbows

fǎngfú yǒngyuǎn fēnlí
仿佛永远分离
Seemingly always apart

què yòu zhōngshēn xiāngyī
却又终身相依
But also forever interdependent

 

zhè cái shì wěidà de àiqíng
这才是伟大的爱情
Only this can be great love

jiānzhēn jiù zài zhèlǐ
坚贞就在这里
The loyalty is here

ài——
爱——
Love —

bùjǐn ài nǐ wěi’àn de shēnqū
不仅爱你伟岸的身躯
I love not only your strapping stature

yě ài nǐ jiānchí de wèizhi, zúxià de tǔdì
也爱你坚持的位置,足下的土地
But also your firm stand, the earth beneath you

 

Hope you enjoyed the poem… good night, my friends!

 

Related posts:

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The resolution behind a suicidal mind - 海子's poem 面朝大海 春暖花開 [Chinese poem recitation]
Chinese contemporary poem - By Your Side 与你同行

 

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2 Responses to “Learn mandarin from professional recitation of a contemporary poem of love – To the Oak Tree”

  1. nothing

    Barry:

    04-10-2012 9:57 am

    A very nice poem Grace.

    There were quite a few adjectives and nouns I didn’t know but, thanks to your translation, I managed to understand it without too much bother. Thanks again.

    Barry

    Reply

    • nothing

      Grace:

      04-11-2012 2:43 am

      Barry, don’t worry about the few remote words that you might not know. Being a native, I can’t tell what exactly is 流岚 without looking it up in dictionary either. :-)

      But I can vaguely guess out that it’s related to river and mountain. That doesn’t prevent me from appreciating the beauty of the poem.

      Reply

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