An Evening View of the City of Youzhou After Coming From Hankou to Parrot Island a Poem Sent to My Friend Governor Yuan
- Poetry of Liu Changqing

《自夏口至鹦鹉洲夕望岳阳寄源中丞》

- Last updated: 2024-03-15 17:15:48

An Evening View of the City of Youzhou After Coming From Hankou to Parrot Island a Poem Sent to My Friend Governor Yuan by Liu Changqing
中文原文

汀洲无浪复无烟,楚客相思益渺然。

汉口夕阳斜渡鸟,洞庭秋水远连天。

孤城背岭寒吹角,独树临江夜泊船。

贾谊上书忧汉室,长沙谪去古今怜。


English Translation

No ripples in the river, no mist on the islands,

Yet the landscape is blurred toward my friend in Chu....

Birds in the slanting sun cross Hankou,

And the autumn sky mingles with Lake Dongting.

...From a bleak mountain wall the cold tone of a bugle

Reminds me, moored by a ruined fort,

That Jia Yi's loyal plea to the House of Han

Banned him to Changsha, to be an exile.

Seven-character-regular-verse

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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