On Ascending the North Tower One Autumn Day
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)


- Last updated: 2023-12-20 15:10:53

On Ascending the North Tower One Autumn Day by Li Bai (Li Po)





English Translation

The scroll-like River-town's steeped in twilight,

In view of mountains 'neath a lucid sky.

Two rivers,mingling,form a mirror bright,

Two bridges like rainbows fallen from on high.

The cottage smoke has chilled the orange flower;

The autumn hue has oldened the plane trees.

Who ever dreamed I'd come up Northern Tower 

To meditate on Xie in western breeze?

By  Li Bai

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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