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Kit Fan, joint 2nd prize (Open category)
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  茅屋為秋風所破歌


八月秋 高風怒號,

卷我屋上三重茅。

茅飛渡江灑江郊,

高者掛罥長林梢。

下者飄轉沉塘坳。

南村群我老無力,

忍能對面為盜賊。

公然抱茅入竹去,

唇焦口燥呼不得。

歸來倚杖自嘆息。

俄頃風定雲墨色,

秋天漠漠向昏黑。

布衾多年冷似鐵,

嬌兒惡臥踏裏裂。

床頭屋漏無乾處,

雨腳如麻未斷絕。

自經喪亂少睡眠,

長夜沾濕何由徹!

安得廣廈千萬間,

大庇天下寒士盡歡顏

風雨不動安如山?嗚呼!

何時眼前突兀見此屋,

吾廬獨破受凍死亦足。


杜甫
Thatched house destroyed by an autumn storm


In September, on a high-sky autumn day,
the gale's angry howl blows the heavy
thatch from the house. Straws and reeds
fly across the bank, scattering in the fields;
some hang in the upper branches, some swirl
and sink into the puddle-ponds.
Knowing I am old and frail, the children
from the southern village gang together
openly, gathering the reeds in their arms,
and disappear into the bamboo forest.
I shout and scream, my throat dry, my lips
burnt, but they don't return. I walk home,
leaning on my walking stick, talking to myself.

Suddenly the wind drops.
The ink-clouds turn the autumn sky
into a dark desert. The threadbare quilt
is cold as iron. My son's not sleeping well;
he kicks and tears the quilt apart.
The bed's wet, the house leaks, there's nowhere dry.
The rain's tight as linen, won't stop.

It's been hard to sleep since the war began,
these long wet nights, and no sign of dawn.
I wonder how many houses we'd need to build
to shelter the world's shivering poor,
like a mountain weathering every storm.
Will such houses ever see the light of day?
If I could see them, I think I'd die happy,
even here in the cold, under this tattered thatch.


Translated from the classical Chinese by Kit Fan
  [Commentary on the poem by the translator]   



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