A Farewell at Fengji Station to General Yan
- Poetry of Du Fu


- Last updated: 2024-04-26 10:50:04

A Farewell at Fengji Station to General Yan by Du Fu





English Translation

This is where your comrade must leave you,

Turning at the foot of these purple mountains....

When shall we lift our cups again, I wonder,

As we did last night and walk in the moon?

The region is murmuring farewell

To one who was honoured through three reigns;

And back I go now to my river-village,

Into the final solitude.


This poem dates from 762; Du Fu had accompanied his friend and patron, Yan Wu, from Chengdu to Fengji.

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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