a Farewell to Governor Li on His Way Home to Hanyang
- Poetry of Liu Changqing


- Last updated: 2024-03-15 17:21:29

a Farewell to Governor Li on His Way Home to Hanyang by Liu Changqing





English Translation

Sad wanderer, once you conquered the South,

Commanding a hundred thousand men;

Today, dismissed and dispossessed,

In your old age you remember glory.

Once, when you stood, three borders were still;

Your dagger was the scale of life.

Now, watching the great rivers, the Jiang and the Han,

On their ways in the evening, where do you go?


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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