A Song of the Southern River
- Poetry of Li Yi

《江南曲》

- Last updated: 2024-05-12 11:02:17

A Song of the Southern River by Li Yi
中文原文

嫁得瞿塘贾,朝朝误妾期。

早知潮有信,嫁与弄潮儿。


English Translation

Since I married the merchant of Qutang

He has failed each day to keep his word....

Had I thought how regular the tide is,

I might rather have chosen a river-boy.

Folk-song-styled-verse

· PreA Spring Sigh
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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