The Jade Pool
- Poetry of Li Shangyin

《瑶池》

- Last updated: 2024-05-15 10:53:59

The Jade Pool by Li Shangyin
中文原文

瑶池阿母绮窗开,黄竹歌声动地哀。

八骏日行三万里,穆王何事不重来。


English Translation

The Mother of Heaven, in her window by the Jade Pool,

Hears The Yellow Bamboo Song shaking the whole earth.

Where is Emperor Mu, with his eight horses running

Ten thousand miles a day? Why has he never come back?

Seven-character-quatrain

· PreThe Sui Palace
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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