Zui Hua Yin -- Ninth of the Ninth
- Poetry of Li Qingzhao


- Last updated: 2024-03-20 23:40:56

Zui Hua Yin -- Ninth of the Ninth by Li Qingzhao





English Translation

Thin mist, dense clouds, o’ercast all day, downcast ‘cos you’re away.

A bronze-lion incense burner, borneol exhales.

‘Tis again the festive day of Ninth of the Ninth;

My jade-like pillow, gauze-veiled bed,

By midnight, a chill will’ve begun to permeate.

Aft dusk, at the eastside ‘santhemum hedge: to our health, a cup I take;

And up my sleeves, a faint sweet scent pervades.

O say not my heart is not with gloom consumed!

Let the west wind whirl up my curtain

To betray I’m frailer than the yellow floriage.

The Double Ninth Festival was the 9th day of the 9th lunar month,Mountain-climbing Day,according to Chinese custom.This lyric depicts how the poetess passed that day from morning till night,her soul consumed by her separation from her 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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