Song of the Clear Stream
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)


- Last updated: 2024-03-24 16:43:32

Song of the Clear Stream by Li Bai (Li Po)





English Translation

The Clear Stream clears my heart;

Its water flows apart.

I ask the River New,"Why transparent are you?"

On mirror bright boats hie;

Between the screens birds fly.

At dusk the monkeys cry;

In vain the wayfarers sigh.

This poem describes the scenery on the Clear Stream and the poet's feeling on leaving it.

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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