A Farewell to Wei Wan
- Poetry of Li Qi

《送魏万之京》

- Last updated: 2024-05-07 17:52:44

A Farewell to Wei Wan by Li Qi
中文原文

朝闻游子唱离歌,昨夜微霜初渡河。

鸿雁不堪愁里听,云山况是客中多。

关城曙色催寒近,御苑砧声向晚多。

莫是长安行乐处,空令岁月易蹉跎。


English Translation

The travellers' parting-song sounds in the dawn.

Last night a first frost came over the river;

And the crying of the wildgeese grieves my sad heart

Bounded by a gloom of cloudy mountains....

Here in the Gate City, day will flush cold

And washing-flails quicken by the gardens at twilight --

How long shall the capital content you,

Where the months and the years so vainly go by?

Seven-character-regular-verse

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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