An Early Audience at the Palace of Light Harmonizing Secretary Jia Zhi's Poem
- Poetry of Cen Shen


- Last updated: 2024-03-18 14:44:24

An Early Audience at the Palace of Light Harmonizing Secretary Jia Zhi's Poem by Cen Shen





English Translation

Cock-crow, the Purple Road cold in the dawn;

Linnet songs, court roofs tinted with April;

At the Golden Gate morning bell, countless doors open,

And up the jade steps float a thousand officials

With flowery scabbards.... Stars have gone down;

Willows are brushing the dew from the flags --

And, alone on the Lake of the Phoenix, a guest

Is chanting too well The Song of Bright Spring.


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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