on Seeing Wang Leave for the South
- Poetry of Liu Changqing


- Last updated: 2024-04-27 16:50:01

on Seeing Wang Leave for the South by Liu Changqing





English Translation

Toward a mist upon the water

Still I wave my hand and sob,

For the flying bird is lost in space

Beyond a desolate green mountain....

But now the long river, the far lone sail,

five lakes, gleam like spring in the sunset;

And down an island white with duckweed

Comes the quiet of communion.


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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