A Message to Meng Haoran
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)

《赠孟浩然》

- Last updated: 2024-04-26 10:07:06

A Message to Meng Haoran by Li Bai (Li Po)
中文原文

吾爱孟夫子,风流天下闻。

红颜弃轩冕,白首卧松云。

醉月频中圣,迷花不事君。

高山安可仰,徒此揖清芬。


English Translation

Master, I hail you from my heart,

And your fame arisen to the skies....

Renouncing in ruddy youth the importance of hat and chariot,

You chose pine-trees and clouds; and now, whitehaired,

Drunk with the moon, a sage of dreams,

Flower- bewitched, you are deaf to the Emperor....

High mountain, how I long to reach you,

Breathing your sweetness even here!

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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