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Episode Info:

It was hard to meet you and hard to leave you

Today, Rob and Lee say goodbye, or, at least, say goodbye to the face to face format of podcasting. Rob has earned a Chateaubriand Scholarship to the Sorbonne in Paris, where he will be researching the nexus of Chinese and French culture in the late Qing. That means Lee and Rob may have to change some things up in the way the podcast is done, but fear not, the podcast will continue. 

The poem they will look at is one of Li Shangyin’s most famous goodbye poems. Here is Lee’s translation of it:

It was hard to meet, and hard to part

the east wind is weak, the hundred flowers are withering

the spring’s silkworms move towards death, the silk is done

the candle grows gray, wax tears turn dry

she looks into the mirror but worries that her hair is changing

at night, she chants, the moonlight’s chill is all she knows

the mystic home is not far away

the blue bird will be the messenger of my love. 

And the original:

相見時難別亦難,東風無力百花殘。

春蠶到死絲方盡,蠟炬成灰淚始乾。

曉鏡但愁雲鬢改,夜吟應覺月光寒。

蓬山此去無多路,青鳥殷勤為探看

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