Thoughts of Old Time From a Night-mooring Under Mount Niu-zhu
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)

《夜泊牛渚怀古》

- Last updated: 2024-04-26 10:20:16

Thoughts of Old Time From a Night-mooring Under Mount Niu-zhu by Li Bai (Li Po)
中文原文

牛渚西江夜,青天无片云。

登舟望秋月,空忆谢将军。

余亦能高咏,斯人不可闻。

明朝挂帆席,枫叶落纷纷。


English Translation

This night to the west of the river-brim

There is not one cloud in the whole blue sky,

As I watch from my deck the autumn moon,

Vainly remembering old General Xie....

I have poems; I can read;

He heard others, but not mine.

...Tomorrow I shall hoist my sail,

With fallen maple-leaves behind me.

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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