To My Old Friend in Yangzhou From a Boat Moored at Night on the Tonglu River
- Poetry of Meng Haoran


- Last updated: 2024-04-27 16:30:02

To My Old Friend in Yangzhou From a Boat Moored at Night on the Tonglu River by Meng Haoran





English Translation

With monkeys whimpering on the shadowy mountain,

And the river rushing through the night,

And a wind in the leaves along both banks,

And the moon athwart my solitary sail,

I, a stranger in this inland district,

Homesick for my Yangzhou friends,

Send eastward two long streams of tears

To find the nearest touch of the sea.


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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