Joy of Day and Night
- Poetry of Liu Yong


- Last updated: 2024-03-22 20:53:34

Joy of Day and Night by Liu Yong











English Translation

In nuptial chamber first I saw your face,

I thought we should forever share the place.

The short-lived joy of love,who would believe?

Soon turned into parting grief.

Now late spring has grown old and soon takes leave,

I see a riot of catkins and flowers

Fallen in showers.

I am afraid all the fine scenery

Would go away with thee.

Whom may I tell my solitude?

Thou oft makest light of promise thou hast made.

Had I known the ennui is so hard to elude,

I would then have thee stayed.

What I can't bear to think,thy gallantry apart,

Is something else in thee which captivates my heart.

If one day I don't think of it,

A thousand times my brows would knit.

Liu Yong (987-1053)was the best-known popular lyric poet of the Song Dynasty (960-1279).He adopted and invented a large number of longer "slow tunes"containing more than 100 characters. 

This lyric depicts the sorrow of a lonely young bride.

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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