Telling of Innermost Feelings
- Poetry of Lu You


- Last updated: 2024-03-20 23:36:53

Telling of Innermost Feelings by Lu You





English Translation

Alone I went a thousand miles long,long ago 

To serve the army well at the frontier.

The fortress town in dreams I could not go,

Dusty and outworn my sable-coat of cavalier.

The foe not beaten back,

My hair no longer black,

My tears have flowed in vain.

Who could have thought that in this life I would remain 

With a mountain-high aim 

But an old mortal frame!

In 1172 the patriotic poet served in th e army stationed in Liangzhou (present-day Shaanxi Province)on the northwest frontier,with the high aim of repelling the Jurchen invasion and recovering the lost territory,but his dream was not realized even when he grew old.

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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