Song of Bamboo Twigs, I of Two
- Poetry of Liu Yuxi

《竹枝词二首 其一》

- Last updated: 2024-04-17 15:43:45

Song of Bamboo Twigs, I of Two by Liu Yuxi



English Translation

Green, O green is the willow, placid, peaceful the flow;

Hark and I hear on the river, songs from my love, my beau.

To the east, the sun is up, to the west, drizzles persist;

Though they say the sun is naught, to me, the sun is aglow.

Translated by Andrew W.F. Wong (Huang Hongfa)

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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