On Parting Again with Mengde
- Poetry of Liu Zongyuan

《重别梦得》

- Last updated: 2024-06-08 15:09:21

On Parting Again with Mengde by Liu Zongyuan
中文原文

二十年来万事同,今朝岐路忽西东。

皇恩若许归田去,晚岁当为邻舍翁。


English Translation

In the past twenty years we have shared weal and woe;

Now we must part with each other at the fork of the road.

If His Majesty allowed me to quit and go farming,

I would spend my remaining years as a next-door neighbor of yours.

By Liu Zongyuan

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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