Ascending the Snow-White Peak
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)


- Last updated: 2024-03-20 14:46:19

Ascending the Snow-White Peak by Li Bai (Li Po)






English Translation

Ascending from the west the PeakS now-White,

Not till the sun goes down I reach its height.

The snow-white MorningStar teIls me to wait 

Until he opens the Celestial Gate.

I wish to ride cold wind and floating cloud 

To touch the moon and dwarf all mountains proud.

But once I left behind the Western land,

Could I return to the summit where I stand?

By Li Bai (Li Po)

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.

© 2024 Famous Chinese Poems in English