There is Only One
- Poetry of Li Shangyin


- Last updated: 2024-05-15 10:52:13

There is Only One by Li Shangyin



English Translation

There is only one Carved-Cloud, exquisite always-

Yet she dreads the spring, blowing cold in the palace,

When her husband, a Knight of the Golden Tortoise,

Will leave her sweet bed, to be early at court.


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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