Poems of Hồ Xuân Hương : 岧𠀧隊 - Three-Mountain Pass


Title:岧𠀧隊 - Three-Mountain Pass
 NômEnglish
Content:没岧没岧吏没岧
𠸦埃窖鑿景招撩
𬮌𣘈𧹼烈𥱰𥵗󰤂
𡉕𥒥撑荑頓噴𦼔
搮𧾿梗樁干𩙋速
潭𣾸蘿柳湥霜招
賢人君子埃𦓡𫽄
痗𨆝𤶐蹎吻㦖𨅹
A cliff face. Another. And still a third.
Who was so skilled to carve this craggy scene:
the cavern’s red door, the ridge’s narrow cleft,
the black knoll bearded with little mosses?
A twisting pine bough plunges in the wind,
showering a willow’s leaves with glistening drops.
Gentlemen, lords, who could refuse, though weary
and shaky in his knees, to mount once more?
Notes:Maurice Durand notes that this range is almost certainly the Đèo Tam Điệp in central North Vietnam where the mountains are calcareous and of a blackish color but, he adds innocently, "On n’a pas de grotte avec une grande ouventure." While an actual landscape may have suggested this poem to Hồ Xuân Hương (as well as “Viewing Cắc-Cớ Cavern”), the particular contours--the active pine and willows--comprise a sexual landscape as well. Pines traditionally stand for men; willows, for women.