Not Finding Lu Hongxian at Home
- Poetry of Jiaoran

《寻陆鸿渐不遇》

- Last updated: 2024-05-06 17:25:53

Not Finding Lu Hongxian at Home by Jiaoran
中文原文

移家虽带郭,野径入桑麻。

近种篱边菊,秋来未著花。

扣门无犬吠,欲去问西家。

报道山中去,归时每日斜。


English Translation

To find you, moved beyond the city,

A wide path led me, by mulberry and hemp,

To a new-set hedge of chrysanthemums --

Not yet blooming although autumn had come.

...I knocked; no answer, not even a dog.

I waited to ask your western neighbour;

But he told me that daily you climb the mountain,

Never returning until sunset.

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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