Magnolia Lyrics
- Poetry of Qian Weiyan


- Last updated: 2024-06-12 15:08:32

Magnolia Lyrics by Qian Weiyan





English Translation

In the town, the warble of orioles mingles among its glorious scenery and sights,

In the moat of the town, against the enclosing walls crush waves of springtime.

For how long last the green of willows and the fragrance of grass?

My eyes are growing teary, yet already rent are my melancholic insides.

So I have noticed that increasingly becoming aged is my frame of mind,

Like an astonished mute phoenix, surprised I was, at the passing of my prime.

In the past, my sickly physique had me libation detest,

Now I only dread holding a chalice that is dry.

QIAN Weiyan

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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