To Vice-prefects Li and Wang Degraded and Transferred to Xiazhong and Changsha
- Poetry of Gao Shi


- Last updated: 2024-04-25 22:06:48

To Vice-prefects Li and Wang Degraded and Transferred to Xiazhong and Changsha by Gao Shi





English Translation

What are you thinking as we part from one another,

Pulling in our horses for the stirrup-cups?

Do these tear-streaks mean Wu Valley monkeys all weeping,

Or wildgeese returning with news from Heng Mountain?....

On the river between green maples an autumn sail grows dim,

There are only a few old trees by the wall of the White God City....

But the year is bound to freshen us with a dew of heavenly favour --

Take heart, we shall soon be together again!


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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