Song of Yuzhang
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)


- Last updated: 2023-12-22 11:24:14

Song of Yuzhang by Li Bai (Li Po)












English Translation

The horses neigh to hear the north wind blow,

The rebels occupy the Northern Pass.

The Southern armour bright as lake-side snow,

When will our men be back from war?Alas!

Half of them are aboard,ready to part,

E'en yellow clouds look gloomy and turn pale.

Old mothers see their sons off,sad at heart,

Crawling amid wild grass,they weep and wail.

Around the flags turn steeds which parting grieves,

They chase each other,foaming at the mouth.

Beneath autumn moon the poplars shed their leaves 

Early which cover mountains of the South.

I am a man living in time of peace,

Not used to fighting or exchanging blows.

But I am not afraid to fight without cease,

And sweep away our formidable foes.

Our concentrated efforts could break stone 

And enemy however hard they are.

Our galleons swift like whales which might have flown 

O'er waves which surge in the Bay of Falling Star

This isn't a tune for army-men to play:

On hearing it,their hair would soon turn gray!

Yuzhang, Present-day Nanchang,capital of Jiangxi 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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