Thoughts in the Cold
- Poetry of Li Shangyin

《凉思》

- Last updated: 2024-05-05 18:09:09

Thoughts in the Cold by Li Shangyin
中文原文

客去波平槛,蝉休露满枝。

永怀当此节,倚立自移时。

北斗兼春远,南陵寓使迟。

天涯占梦数,疑误有新知。


English Translation

You are gone. The river is high at my door.

Cicadas are mute on dew-laden boughs.

This is a moment when thoughts enter deep.

I stand alone for a long while.

...The North Star is nearer to me now than spring,

And couriers from your southland never arrive --

Yet I doubt my dream on the far horizon

That you have found another friend.

Five-character-regular-verse

· PreFalling Petals
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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