A Night-mooring on the Jiande River
- Poetry of Meng Haoran

《宿建德江》

- Last updated: 2024-04-16 21:47:32

A Night-mooring on the Jiande River by Meng Haoran
中文原文
Simplified Chinese Version

移舟泊烟渚,日暮客愁新。

野旷天低树,江清月近人。


Traditional Chinese Version

移舟泊煙渚, 日暮客愁新。

野曠天低樹, 江清月近人。


English Translation

While my little boat moves on its mooring of mist,

And daylight wanes, old memories begin....

How wide the world was, how close the trees to heaven,

And how clear in the water the nearness of the moon!

Five-character-quatrain

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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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