A Song of Pure Happiness II
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)


- Last updated: 2024-03-20 14:24:58

A Song of Pure Happiness II by Li Bai (Li Po)
Simplified Chinese Version



Traditional Chinese Version

一枝紅豔露凝香, 雲雨巫山枉斷腸。

借問漢宮誰得似, 可憐飛燕倚新妝。

English Translation

There's a perfume stealing moist from a shaft of red blossom,

And a mist, through the heart, from the magical Hill of Wu- -

The palaces of China have never known such beauty-

Not even Flying Swallow with all her glittering garments.


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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