Moonlit Night
- Poetry of Li Shangyin


- Last updated: 2024-06-27 14:47:29

Moonlit Night by Li Shangyin



English Translation

The autumn insects under the grass, the frost on the leaves –

The vermilion balustrade presses down the light on the lake.

The hare is chilly, the toad cold, the cassia flower white:

On such a night, Heng-o would surely break her heart.

By Li Shangyin

· PreNew Year's Eve
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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