At the End of the World
- Poetry of Li Shangyin

《天涯》

- Last updated: 2024-04-01 12:39:27

At the End of the World by Li Shangyin
中文原文

春日在天涯,天涯日又斜。

莺啼如有泪,为湿最高花。


English Translation

Spring sees me at the world's end,

And the sun again tips to the land.

Orioles cry as if in copious tears,

Wetting the highest twigs that bend.

By Li Shangyin

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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