Wang Zhaojun
- Poetry of Bai Juyi

《王昭君》

- Last updated: 2024-04-12 14:33:13

Wang Zhaojun by Bai Juyi
中文原文

汉使却回凭寄语,黄金何日赎蛾眉?

君王若问妾颜色,莫道不知宫里时。


English Translation

Begging the Han envoy to pass on a message, she said

"To get me back when will a ransom of gold be paid?

If His Majesty should ask about my looks,

Don't say I'm not so charming as I was in the palace."

By Bai Juyi

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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