A Song of a Pure-hearted Girl
- Poetry of Meng Jiao

《烈女操》

- Last updated: 2024-04-21 10:34:50

A Song of a Pure-hearted Girl by Meng Jiao
中文原文

梧桐相待老,鸳鸯会双死。

贞妇贵殉夫,舍生亦如此。

波澜誓不起,妾心古井水。


English Translation

Lakka-trees ripen two by two

And mandarin-ducks die side by side.

If a true-hearted girl will love only her husband,

In a life as faithfully lived as theirs,

What troubling wave can arrive to vex

A spirit like water in a timeless well?

Folk-song-styled-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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