Memories in Early Winter
- Poetry of Meng Haoran

《早寒江上有怀 / 早寒有怀 / 江上思归》

- Last updated: 2024-04-27 16:40:43

Memories in Early Winter by Meng Haoran
Simplified Chinese Version





Traditional Chinese Version

木落雁南渡, 北風江上寒。

我家襄水曲, 遙隔楚雲端。

鄉淚客中盡, 孤帆天際看。

迷津欲有問, 平海夕漫漫。

English Translation

South go the wildgesse, for leaves are now falling,

And the water is cold with a wind from the north.

I remember my home; but the Xiang River's curves

Are walled by the clouds of this southern country.

I go forward. I weep till my tears are spent.

I see a sail in the far sky.

Where is the ferry? Will somebody tell me?

It's growing rough. It's growing dark.


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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