At a Banquet in the House of the Taoist Priest Mei
- Poetry of Meng Haoran

《清明日宴梅道士房 / 宴梅道士山房》

- Last updated: 2024-04-27 16:18:49

At a Banquet in the House of the Taoist Priest Mei by Meng Haoran





English Translation

In my bed among the woods, grieving that spring must end,

I lifted up the curtain on a pathway of flowers,

And a flashing bluebird bade me come

To the dwelling-place of the Red Pine Genie.

...What a flame for his golden crucible --

Peach-trees magical with buds ! --

And for holding boyhood in his face,

The rosy-flowing wine of clouds!


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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