The Stone City
- Poetry of Liu Yuxi


- Last updated: 2024-03-16 15:22:42

The Stone City by Liu Yuxi



English Translation

Surrounded by hills, this old capital, its environs still in place---   

Flood-tides still storm the empty city, and ebb, and quiet befalls.

East of the waters of Qinhuai River, that same old ancient moon,

Deep in the night, still climbs across the jagged battlement walls.

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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