Falling Petals
- Poetry of Li Shangyin


- Last updated: 2024-05-05 18:07:22

Falling Petals by Li Shangyin





English Translation

Gone is the guest from the Chamber of Rank,

And petals, confused in my little garden,

Zigzagging down my crooked path,

Escort like dancers the setting sun.

Oh, how can I bear to sweep them away?

To a sad-eyed watcher they never return.

Heart's fragrance is spent with the ending of spring

And nothing left but a tear-stained robe.


· PreWind and Rain
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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