Farewell to a Japanese Buddhist Priest Bound Homeward
- Poetry of Qian Qi


- Last updated: 2024-05-02 21:27:21

Farewell to a Japanese Buddhist Priest Bound Homeward by Qian Qi





English Translation

You were foreordained to find the source.

Now, tracing your way as in a dream

There where the sea floats up the sky,

You wane from the world in your fragile boat....

The water and the moon are as calm as your faith,

Fishes and dragons follow your chanting,

And the eye still watches beyond the horizon

The holy light of your single lantern.


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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