Farewell at the Old Pavilion
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)


- Last updated: 2024-03-20 14:58:27

Farewell at the Old Pavilion by Li Bai (Li Po)






English Translation

We part at the Pavilion Old;

The river flows its water cold.

Above we see trees not in bloom.

Below the vernal grass in gloom.

I ask a wanderer if we go astray;

He says an ancient poet took this way.

The way extends to the west capital,

Where floating clouds at sunset veil the palace hall.

Heartbroken here and now I part with you.

How can we bear to hear songs of adieu?

The poet parts with his friend at the Old Pavilion by the riverside where was buried Emperor Wen of the Han Dynasty.

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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