On Climbing Yan Mountain With Friends
- Poetry of Meng Haoran

《与诸子登岘山》

- Last updated: 2024-04-26 16:48:01

On Climbing Yan Mountain With Friends by Meng Haoran
中文原文

人事有代谢,往来成古今。

江山留胜迹,我辈复登临。

水落鱼梁浅,天寒梦泽深。

羊公碑尚在,读罢泪沾襟。


English Translation

While worldly matters take their turn,

Ancient, modern, to and fro,

Rivers and mountains are changeless in their glory

And still to be witnessed from this trail.

Where a fisher-boat dips by a waterfall,

Where the air grows colder, deep in the valley,

The monument of Yang remains;

And we have wept, reading the words.

Five-character-regular-verse

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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