Inscribed in the Temple of the Wandering Genie
- Poetry of Han Hong


- Last updated: 2024-05-08 20:28:47

Inscribed in the Temple of the Wandering Genie by Han Hong





English Translation

I face, high over this enchanted lodge, the Court of the Five Cities of Heaven,

And I see a countryside blue and still, after the long rain.

The distant peaks and trees of Qin merge into twilight,

And Had Palace washing-stones make their autumnal echoes.

Thin pine-shadows brush the outdoor pulpit,

And grasses blow their fragrance into my little cave.

...Who need be craving a world beyond this one?

Here, among men, are the Purple Hills


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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