To One Unnamed IV
- Poetry of Li Shangyin


- Last updated: 2024-03-22 22:18:19

To One Unnamed IV by Li Shangyin

鳳尾香羅薄幾重, 碧文圓頂夜深縫。

扇裁月魄羞難掩, 車走雷聲語未通。

曾是寂寥金燼暗, 斷無消息石榴紅。

斑騅只繫垂楊岸, 何處西南任好風?

English Translation

A faint phoenix-tail gauze, fragrant and doubled,

Lines your green canopy, closed for the night....

Will your shy face peer round a moon-shaped fan,

And your voice be heard hushing the rattle of my carriage?

It is quiet and quiet where your gold lamp dies,

How far can a pomegranate-blossom whisper?

...I will tether my horse to a river willow

And wait for the will of the southwest wind.


· PreSpring 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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