A Bitter Love
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)

《怨情》

- Last updated: 2024-05-11 11:12:24

A Bitter Love by Li Bai (Li Po)
中文原文

美人卷珠帘,深坐颦蛾眉。

但见泪痕湿,不知心恨谁。


English Translation

How beautiful she looks, opening the pearly casement,

And how quiet she leans, and how troubled her brow is!

You may see the tears now, bright on her cheek,

But not the man she so bitterly loves.

Five-character-quatrain

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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