On New Year's Eve
- Poetry of Cui Tu

《巴山道中除夜书怀》

- Last updated: 2024-05-05 20:07:32

On New Year's Eve by Cui Tu
中文原文

迢递三巴路,羁危万里身。

乱山残雪夜,孤烛异乡春。

渐与骨肉远,转于僮仆亲。

那堪正漂泊,明日岁华新。


English Translation

Farther and farther from the three Ba Roads,

I have come three thousand miles, anxious and watchful,

Through pale snow-patches in the jagged nightmountains --

A stranger with a lonely lantern shaken in the wind.

...Separation from my kin

Binds me closer to my servants --

Yet how I dread, so far adrift,

New Year's Day, tomorrow morning!

Five-character-regular-verse

· PreEarly Autumn
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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