Farewell To a Buddhist Monk
- Poetry of Liu Changqing

《送方外上人》

- Last updated: 2024-04-25 11:59:43

Farewell To a Buddhist Monk by Liu Changqing
中文原文

孤云将野鹤,岂向人间住。

莫买沃洲山,时人已知处。


English Translation

Can drifting clouds and white storks

Be tenants in this world of ours? --

Or you still live on Wuzhou Mountain,

Now that people are coming here?

Five-character-quatrain

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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