Passing by the Triumphal Tower at Night
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)

《夜下征虏亭》

- Last updated: 2024-03-20 14:34:39

Passing by the Triumphal Tower at Night by Li Bai (Li Po)
中文原文

船下广陵去,月明征虏亭。

山花如绣颊,江火似流萤。


English Translation

My boat sails down to River Town,

The Tower's bright in the moonight.

The flowers blow like cheeks that glow,

And lanterns beam as fireflies gleam.

Present-day Yangzhou in Jiangsu Province.

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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