A Farewell to My Friend Chen Zhangfu
- Poetry of Li Qi

《送陈章甫》

- Last updated: 2024-04-21 10:41:28

A Farewell to My Friend Chen Zhangfu by Li Qi
中文原文

四月南风大麦黄,枣花未落桐叶长。

青山朝别暮还见,嘶马出门思旧乡。

陈侯立身何坦荡,虬须虎眉仍大颡。

腹中贮书一万卷,不肯低头在草莽。

东门酤酒饮我曹,心轻万事如鸿毛。

醉卧不知白日暮,有时空望孤云高。

长河浪头连天黑,津口停舟渡不得。

郑国游人未及家,洛阳行子空叹息。

闻道故林相识多,罢官昨日今如何。


English Translation

In the Fourth-month the south wind blows plains of yellow barley,

Date-flowers have not faded yet and lakka-leaves are long.

The green peak that we left at dawn we still can see at evening,

While our horses whinny on the road, eager to turn homeward.

...Chen, my friend, you have always been a great and good man,

With your dragon's moustache, tiger's eyebrows and your massive forehead.

In your bosom you have shelved away ten thousand volumes.

You have held your head high, never bowed it in the dust.

...After buying us wine and pledging us, here at the eastern gate,

And taking things as lightly as a wildgoose feather,

Flat you lie, tipsy, forgetting the white sun;

But now and then you open your eyes and gaze at a high lone cloud.

...The tide-head of the lone river joins the darkening sky.

The ferryman beaches his boat. It has grown too late to sail.

And people on their way from Cheng cannot go home,

And people from Loyang sigh with disappointment.

...I have heard about the many friends around your wood land dwelling.

Yesterday you were dismissed. Are they your friends today?

Seven-character-ancient-verse

· PreAn Old Air
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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