Joy of Eternal Union
- Poetry of Li Qingzhao


- Last updated: 2024-03-20 23:38:36

Joy of Eternal Union by Li Qingzhao









English Translation

The setting sun like molten gold,

Gathering clouds like marble cold,

Where is my dear?

Willows take misty dye,

Flutes for mume blossoms sigh.

Can you say spring is here?

On the Lantern Festival 

The weather is agreeable.

Will wind and rain not come again?

I thank my friends in verse and wine,

With scented cabs and horses fine 

Coming to invite me in vain.

I remember the pleasure 

Ladies enjoyed at leisure 

In the capital on this day:

Headdress with emerald 

And filigree of gold

Vied in fashion display.

Now with a languid air 

And dishevelled frosty hair,

I dare not go out in the evening.

I'd rather forward lean 

Behind the window screen

To hear the others'laughter ring.

This lyric was written on a Lantern Festival,the 15th day of the first lunar month,after the Jurchen invasion.The poetess thought of the pleasure enjoyed in the lost capital and felt grieved over the death of her dear husband.

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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