Spring Morning 春晓 – Meng Haoran

A favorite poem with children the world over.

Spring, I slept past dawn
Til everywhere I heard the cry of birds
Last night came the wind and rain
Tell me, how many blossoms fell?

Spring Morning – Meng Haoran (ca. 689-740)
Spring Morning, Birds Singing on a branch with Cherry Blossoms
Spring Morning, Birds Singing

Previously translated about 2 years ago. Worth a revisit.

Thoughts on Spring Morning

A lovely word picture, not of what one see, but what one feels. It was written by Meng Haoran during his time at a temple retreat on Lumen Mountain in Hubei Province, a short distance southeast of the city where Meng was born and died, Xiangyang.

A slumbering child lies in bed with covers pulled over their head. It’s spring 春 and the trees are full of blossoms. A sleepless night. Howling wind, thunder, and rain. Mourning comes and everywhere (chuchu, 处 处) the child hears the crying birds (tiniao, 啼鸟).

Why not singing? Why crying?

花落知多少, Huā luò zhī duōshǎo?

Tell me, many blossoms fell?

Read French translation

春晓

春眠不觉晓
处处闻啼鸟
夜来风雨声
花落知多少

Chūn xiǎo

Chūn mián bù jué xiǎo,
chù chù wén tí niǎo.
Yè lái fēng yǔ shēng,
huā luò zhī duō shǎo

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