Sorrow of the Long Gate Palace (Two Poems)
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)

《长门怨(二首)》

- Last updated: 2024-03-20 14:43:49

Sorrow of the Long Gate Palace (Two Poems) by Li Bai (Li Po)
中文原文

天回北斗挂西楼,金屋无人萤火流。

月光欲到长门殿,别作深宫一段愁。

桂殿长愁不记春,黄金四屋起秋尘。

夜悬明镜青天上,独照长门宫里人。


English Translation

The plough has turned around and hang so'er Western Tower.

None but the fireflies sail the gloom of Golden Bower.

The lonely moon which peeps in Palace of Long Gate 

Will shed more sorrow on the dweller desolate.

Does Laurel Bower where grief reigns remember spring?

On the four golden walls the dusts of autumn cling.

The night holds up a mirror bright in azure sky 

To show the fair on earth as lonely as on high.

The Long Gate Palace was the dwelling of a disfavored queen of the Han Dynasty.

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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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