On a Gate-tower at Yuzhou
- Poetry of Chen Zi'ang

《登幽州台歌》

- Last updated: 2023-12-19 12:40:12

On a Gate-tower at Yuzhou by Chen Zi'ang
中文原文

前不见古人,后不见来者。

念天地之悠悠,独怆然而涕下!

On a Gate-tower at Yuzhou

English Translation

Where, before me, are the ages that have gone?

And where, behind me, are the coming generations?

I think of heaven and earth, without limit, without end,

And I am all alone and my tears fall down.

Seven-character-ancient-verse

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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