Thinking of Xin in South Pavilion on a Summer's Day
- Poetry of Meng Haoran


- Last updated: 2024-04-19 09:25:52

Thinking of Xin in South Pavilion on a Summer's Day by Meng Haoran
Simplified Chinese Version






Traditional Chinese Version

山光忽西落, 池月漸東上。

散髮乘夜涼, 開軒臥閑敞。

荷風送香氣, 竹露滴清響。

欲取鳴琴彈, 恨無知音賞。

感此懷故人, 中宵勞夢想。

English Translation

The mountain-light suddenly fails in the west,

In the east from the lake the slow moon rises.

I loosen my hair to enjoy the evening coolness

And open my window and lie down in peace.

The wind brings me odours of lotuses,

And bamboo-leaves drip with a music of dew....

I would take up my lute and I would play,

But, alas, who here would understand?

And so I think of you, old friend,

O troubler of my midnight dreams !


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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