Prelude to Water Melody
- Poetry of Huang Tingjian


- Last updated: 2023-12-18 09:14:32

Prelude to Water Melody by Huang Tingjian









English Translation

How could grass be so green?O Spring 

Enters the fairy stream,

Where countless peach blooms beam,

And on the branch of the tree golden orioles sing.

I try to find a way through the flowers so gay,

Straight into clouds so white 

To breathe a rainbow bright,

But I'm afraid in the depth of the flowers in my view,

My sleeves would be wet with rosy dew.

I sit on a stone and 

Lean on a pillow of jade,

A tune on golden lute is played.

Where is the poet of the fairyland?

Who would drink up with me my spiral cup?

I come to seek for the immortal's trace,

Not for the rouged lips and powdered face.

Why should I long,long croon?

Drunk,I would dance downhill soon,

Followed by the bright moon.

This poem reflects the poet's worldly outlook symbolized by rouged lips and pourkered face.and otheruorhily ouiook symbolized by the immorial poet in the fuiryland. who refers to Li Bui (701-7621)

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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