To a Friend Departing for Shu
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)

《送友人入蜀》

- Last updated: 2024-03-20 14:40:42

To a Friend Departing for Shu by Li Bai (Li Po)
中文原文

见说蚕丛路,崎岖不易行。

山从人面起,云傍马头生。

芳树笼秦栈,春流绕蜀城。

升沉应已定,不必问君平。


English Translation

Rugg'd is the road, I hear.

Built by the pioneer.

In front steep mountains rise;

Beside the steed cloud flies.

O'er plank-way trees hang down;

Springwater girds the town.

Decid'd our rise and fall,

Do not bother at all!

By Li Bai (Li Po)

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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