Pride of Fishermen
- Poetry of Fan Zhongyan


- Last updated: 2024-03-15 17:32:49

Pride of Fishermen by Fan Zhongyan





English Translation

When autumn comes to the frontier,the scene looks drear,

South-bound wild geese won't stay

E'en for a day.

An uproar rises with horns blowing far and near.

Walled in by peaks,smoke rises straight

At sunset over isolate town with fastened gate.

I hold a cup of wine,yet home is faraway,

The Northwest is not won and I'm obliged to stay.

At the flutes'doleful sound

Over frost-covered ground,

None fall asleep,

The general's hair turns white and soliders weep.

Fen Zhongyan (989-1052)was vice-premier end commanding general stationed on the northwest frontier from 1040 to 1043.This lyric describes the border scene and depicts the poet's nostalgia.

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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