An Autumn Evening Harmonizing Cheng Qin's Poem
- Poetry of Han Hong

《酬程延秋夜即事见赠》

- Last updated: 2024-05-08 20:20:50

An Autumn Evening Harmonizing Cheng Qin's Poem by Han Hong
中文原文

长簟迎风早,空城澹月华。

星河秋一雁,砧杵夜千家。

节候看应晚,心期卧已赊。

向来吟秀句,不觉已鸣鸦。


English Translation

While a cold wind is creeping under my mat,

And the city's naked wall grows pale with the autumn moon,

I see a lone wild-goose crossing the River of Stars,

And I hear, on stone in the night, thousands of washing mallets....

But, instead of wishing the season, as it goes,

To bear me also far away,

I have found your poem so beautiful

That I forget the homing birds.

Five-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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