Drunk in the Fairyland
- Poetry of Huang Tingjian


- Last updated: 2023-12-18 09:19:17

Drunk in the Fairyland by Huang Tingjian









English Translation

In the face of heavy morning cloud again 

And drizzling evening rain,

Leaning on each other,rugged the hills remain.

The Gorge of Witch and lofty peaks 

Lock in the Southern Palace rosy cheeks.

In spring the halberds move in force,

Maids in fair dress welcome heroes on horse,

To the riverside town they go only.

I come to the wasteland a thousand miles away,

With my shadow so lonely.

How can I become cheerful and gay?

It is said the Southern land is so high,

It nearly scrapes the sky.

To the capital I stretch my eye,

I see but misty water far and nigh.

When I drank in the hall,

My friends were talents all.

Songstresses sang with rosy face

And dancers danced with grace,

Drunk, they intoxicated the place.

Hearing the cuckoo's home-going song 

All the night long,

Could I resist my yearning strong?

The poet nuakes a contrast between his joy in bygoe days and his sorrow in exile.

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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