Pavilion Laolao
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)


- Last updated: 2024-03-24 16:49:20

Pavilion Laolao by Li Bai (Li Po)



English Translation

There is no place that oftener breaks the heart 

Than the Pavilion seeing people part.

The wind of early spring knows parting grieves,

It will not green the roadside willow leaves.

The Chinese had the custom of breaking off a green willow branch by the roadside and presenting it to the departing friend. The last line implies that the wind of early spring is unwilling to let friends sever.

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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