Enjoy the six English translations of the world-famous female poet-Li Qingzhao’s “Summer Soliloquy“





Xu Jingcheng Translation:

A Summer Verse

Live, be a man’s sage;

Dead, be a wights’ priest.

Xiang Yu, mused, with rage,

Spurned sails to Ri’er East.


Xu Yuanchong translation:

The Black River

Be man of men while you’re alive,

Be soul of souls e’en if you’re dead!

Think of Xiang Yu who’d not survive

His men whose blood for him was shed!


Translation by Zhao Yanchun:

A quatrain in Summer

On earth, stand as a hero true;

In hell, become a gallant ghost.

To come back east Xiang wouldn’t do;

Today I think of him the most.


Zhuo Zhenying Translation:

A Four-Line Poem Composed in Summer

Be a man of men with mettle while alive,

And a soul of souls even if doom’d to die!

Xiang Yu, who would rather perish than survive

By crossing th’ River, is held in esteem high!


Zhang Zhizhong translation:

Be a Man

Alive, be a man of men;

dead, be a ghost of ghosts.

Xiang Yu is my idol,

who did disdain to outlive his underlings.


Tr. Stefan Abeysekera translation :

A Quatrain in Summer

To be, one should be a rare fellow.

Not to be, one should be a ghost hero.

We have revered Xiangyu till today,

For he rejected alive as a loser way.

Author: listenerxu
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