The Roc - To Li Yong
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)


- Last updated: 2024-03-20 14:38:05

The Roc - To Li Yong by Li Bai (Li Po)





English Translation

If once together with the wind the roc could rise,

He would fly ninety thousand li up to the skies.

E'en if he must descend when the wind has abated.

Still billows will be raised and the sea agitated.

Seeing me, those in power think I'm rather queer;

Hearing me freely talk, they can't refrain from sneer.

Confucius was in dread of talents that would be;

A sage will ne'er look down upon a youth like me.

In 726 Li Bai sought the patronage of Li Yong, offcial who was more than twenty years older than he.

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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