A Solitary Wildgoose
- Poetry of Cui Tu

《孤雁-其二》

- Last updated: 2024-05-05 19:39:30

A Solitary Wildgoose by Cui Tu
中文原文

几行归塞尽,念尔独何之。

暮雨相呼失,寒塘欲下迟。

渚云低暗度,关月冷相随。

未必逢矰缴,孤飞自可疑。


English Translation

Line after line has flown back over the border.

Where are you headed all by yourself?

In the evening rain you call to them --

And slowly you alight on an icy pond.

The low wet clouds move faster than you

Along the wall toward the cold moon.

...If they caught you in a net or with a shot,

Would it be worse than flying alone?

Five-character-regular-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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