Moon and Frost
- Poetry of Li Shangyin

《霜月》

- Last updated: 2024-04-12 14:39:18

Moon and Frost by Li Shangyin
中文原文

初闻征雁已无蝉,百尺楼台水接天。

青女素娥俱耐冷,月中霜里斗婵娟。


English Translation

No cicadas will trill when wild geese southwars fly;

Viewed from lofty tower, water blends with the sky.

The Moon and Frost Goddesses are cold-proof on high;

Before the crystal palace in beauty they vie.

By Li Shangyin

· PreOn Zhuge Liang
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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