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

《送李少府贬峡中王少府贬长沙》

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

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

嗟君此别意何如,驻马衔杯问谪居。

巫峡啼猿数行泪,衡阳归雁几封书。

青枫江上秋帆远,白帝城边古木疏。

圣代即今多雨露,暂时分手莫踌躇。


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!

Seven-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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