A Night at a Tavern
- Poetry of Du Mu


- Last updated: 2024-05-04 12:15:51

A Night at a Tavern by Du Mu





English Translation

Solitary at the tavern,

I am shut in with loneliness and grief.

Under the cold lamp, I brood on the past;

I am kept awake by a lost wildgoose.

...Roused at dawn from a misty dream,

I read, a year late, news from home --

And I remember the moon like smoke on the river

And a fisher-boat moored there, under my door.


· PreGrasses
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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