Ascending the Tower of Yueyang with Xia the Twelfth
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)

《与夏十二登岳阳楼》

- Last updated: 2023-12-21 14:51:26

Ascending the Tower of Yueyang with Xia the Twelfth by Li Bai (Li Po)
中文原文

楼观岳阳尽,川迥洞庭开。

雁引愁心去,山衔好月来。

云间连下榻,天上接行杯。

醉后凉风起,吹人舞袖回。


English Translation

On scenes so vast the Tower feasts our eye;

The river stretches into the Lake of South.

Taking away our sorrow,wild geese fly;

Green mountains throw the moon up from their mouth.

Make of white cloud a comfortable bed.

And pass around wine-cups in azure skies.

Drunken,let cooling breezes blow and spread

Our dancing sleeves which flap like butterflies.

Tower of Yueyang in Hunan Province.

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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