Bidding a Friend Farewell at Jingmen Ferry
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)

《渡荆门送别》

- Last updated: 2024-04-26 10:10:36

Bidding a Friend Farewell at Jingmen Ferry by Li Bai (Li Po)
中文原文

渡远荆门外,来从楚国游。

山随平野尽,江入大荒流。

月下飞天镜,云生结海楼。

仍怜故乡水,万里送行舟。


English Translation

Sailing far off from Jingmen Ferry,

Soon you will be with people in the south,

Where the mountains end and the plains begin

And the river winds through wilderness....

The moon is lifted like a mirror,

Sea-clouds gleam like palaces,

And the water has brought you a touch of home

To draw your boat three hundred miles.

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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