A Farewell to Meng Haoran on His Way to Yangzhou
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)

《黄鹤楼送孟浩然之广陵》

- Last updated: 2024-04-17 15:06:59

A Farewell to Meng Haoran on His Way to Yangzhou by Li Bai (Li Po)
中文原文

故人西辞黄鹤楼,烟花三月下扬州。

孤帆远影碧空尽,唯见长江天际流。


English Translation

You have left me behind, old friend, at the Yellow Crane Terrace,

On your way to visit Yangzhou in the misty month of flowers;

Your sail, a single shadow, becomes one with the blue sky,

Till now I see only the river, on its way to heaven.

Seven-character-quatrain

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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