New Year's Eve
- Poetry of Bai Juyi


- Last updated: 2024-06-25 21:15:06

New Year's Eve by Bai Juyi



English Translation

Eyes sick – I don’t sleep, don’t join the New Year’s celebrations,

and now, this heart already glutted with feeling, I face spring.

The guttering lamp’s burned itself out and morning light comes

simple enough: just a sixty-year-old man, head calm and clear.

By Bai Juyi

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Why Chinese poems is so special?
The most distinctive features of Chinese poetry are: concision- many poems are only four lines, and few are much longer than eight; ambiguity- number, tense and parts of speech are often undetermined, creating particularly rich interpretative possibilities; and structure- most poems follow quite strict formal patterns which have beauty in themselves as well as highlighting meaningful contrasts.
How to read a Chinese poem?
Like an English poem, but more so. Everything is there for a reason, so try to find that reason. Think about all the possible connotations, and be aware of the different possibilities of number and tense. Look for contrasts: within lines, between the lines of each couplet and between successive couplets. Above all, don't worry about what the poet meant- find your meaning.

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