New Year's at Changsha
- Poetry of Liu Changqing


- Last updated: 2024-05-02 21:24:36

New Year's at Changsha by Liu Changqing





English Translation

New Year's only deepens my longing,

Adds to the lonely tears of an exile

Who, growing old and still in harness,

Is left here by the homing spring....

Monkeys come down from the mountains to haunt me.

I bend like a willow, when it rains on the river.

I think of Jia Yi, who taught here and died here-

And I wonder what my term shall be.


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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