Posts Tagged ‘cao cao’

Poetry of Cao Cao

Posted: October 12, 2013 in History
Tags: ,

Reprinted from my nascent G+ blog:

The Chinese TV series, Three Kingdoms, is a great program and one of the best I’ve seen about this great historical story (more here about The Romance of the Three Kingdoms).

All of the actors were well-chosen for their characters and it is a real pleasure to watch them become these famous people of ancient history.

The character of Cao Cao is neither hero nor villain. He has conflicting sides to him, which makes him real. His poetry reflects that and I’ll leave you with this:

Though the Tortoise Lives Long (龜雖壽).

《龜雖壽》

Though the Tortoise Lives Long

神龜雖壽,猶有竟時。

Though the tortoise blessed with magic powers lives long,

Its days have their allotted span;

騰蛇乘霧,終為土灰。

Though winged serpents ride high on the mist,

They turn to dust and ashes at the last;

老驥伏櫪,志在千里;

An old war-horse may be stabled,

Yet still it longs to gallop a thousand li;

烈士暮年,壯心不已。

And a noble-hearted man though advanced in years

Never abandons his proud aspirations.

盈縮之期,不但在天;

Man’s span of life, whether long or short,

Depends not on Heaven alone;

養怡之福,可得永年。

One who eats well and keeps cheerful

Can live to a great old age.

幸甚至哉!歌以咏志。

And so, with joy in my heart,

I hum this song.

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