The Beautiful Lady Yu
- Poetry of Huang Tingjian


- Last updated: 2024-04-07 14:42:23

The Beautiful Lady Yu by Huang Tingjian





English Translation

Message comes from the south to the end of the sky,

When mumes burst open, spring is nigh.

At dead of night the wind is slight, your fragrance late.

Who knows at dawn your branches bloom at southern gate?

You're envied by powder of the Terrace of Jade;

You waft amid the brows and will not fade.

All my life long I love you with wine cup in hand;

My young heart oldens ten years away from homeland.

By Huang Tingjian

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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