At the Mountain-lodge of the Buddhist Priest Ye Waiting in Vain for My Friend Ding
- Poetry of Meng Haoran

《宿业师山房期丁大不至》

- Last updated: 2024-04-19 09:29:10

At the Mountain-lodge of the Buddhist Priest Ye Waiting in Vain for My Friend Ding by Meng Haoran
中文原文

夕阳度西岭,群壑倏已暝。

松月生夜凉,风泉满清听。

樵人归尽欲,烟鸟栖初定。

之子期宿来,孤琴候萝径。


English Translation

Now that the sun has set beyond the western range,

Valley after valley is shadowy and dim....

And now through pine-trees come the moon and the chill of evening,

And my ears feel pure with the sound of wind and water

Nearly all the woodsmen have reached home,

Birds have settled on their perches in the quiet mist....

And still -- because you promised -- I am waiting for you, waiting,

Playing lute under a wayside vine.

Five-character-ancient-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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