scruta

Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Translation: 《蝉》

My girlfriend recently gave me a bamboo iPhone case made by a company called Cicada. On the box by way of explanation for their company, they included a Tang Dynasty poem:

My translation:

“Cicada”

Yu Shinan [Early Tang Dynasty]

Hanging from a drooping branch drinking dew,

Its sound scatters though the  phoenix trees.

Living high up it makes sounds that travel far,

Not relying on the fall wind to carry them.

Note: The last two lines of the poem are supposed to represent the idea that if you’re doing something good or you’re powerful, you don’t need to rely on the help of others to publicize it. The Baidu review of the poem has this to say: 蝉声远传,一般人往往以为是藉助于秋风的传送,诗人却别有会心,强调这是由于“居高”而自能致远。这种独特的感受蕴含一个真理:立身品格高洁的人,并不需要某种外在的凭藉. So I guess the idea is that these iPhone cases are supposed to be so sweet that word about them will get around without any help at all…

posted by ferret at 8:57 pm  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

This Guy

[Ferret and his co-workers, Wolverine, Oriole and Chickadee are eating dinner at a Japanese noodle shop. Ferret's food arrives.]

Waitress 

石锅饭!哪位的?

 Stone bowl rice! Whose is it?

Ferret

这位的!

This guy’s!

[Oriole and Chickadee both gasp! The Waitress serves the sizzling bowl of rice topped with meat and vegetables.]

Ferret

What? What’d I do?

Oriole

You are so rude!

Ferret

What? Why?

Oriole

You can’t call yourself 位 (person).

Ferret

No?

Oriole

No. Just say 这是我的 (This is mine).

posted by ferret at 6:35 pm  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Shanghai as a Stained Glass Window

Built in the architraves of state capital, supported by the buttresses of individual finance and ruthless commodity optimization, you were consecrated by a a great secret society of builders, chipping away the stones of a great ideological edifice. Here what is worshiped cannot speak its name,  lost in the change and grow, the ebb and flow.

Shanghai, your streets are of leaden solder, and between them crystalline patches of light, colors of amber desire, aquamarine sympathy, purpled whispers, vermillion hatreds and hopes as green as the forest.

The onlookers are wowed and cowed, looking at this vision that they can only name, but they cannot understand.

posted by ferret at 12:48 pm  

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