A Song of Changgan I
- Poetry of Cui Hao

《长干行·家临九江水》

- Last updated: 2024-03-18 15:00:06

A Song of Changgan I by Cui Hao
中文原文

家临九江水,来去九江侧。

同是长干人,生小不相识。


English Translation

"Tell me, where do you live? --

Near here, by the fishing-pool?

Let's hold our boats together, let's see

If we belong in the same town."

Folk-song-styled-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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