Treading on Grass - At an Inn of Chenzhou
- Poetry of Qin Guan

《踏莎行·郴州旅舍》

- Last updated: 2024-03-23 10:34:17

Treading on Grass - At an Inn of Chenzhou by Qin Guan
中文原文

雾失楼台,月迷津渡,桃源望断无寻处。

可堪孤馆闭春寒,杜鹃声里斜阳暮。

驿寄梅花,鱼传尺素,砌成此恨无重数。

郴江幸自绕郴山,为谁流下潇湘去?


English Translation

The bowers lost in mist,

Dimmed ferry in moonlight,

Peach Blossom Land ideal beyond the sight.

Shut up in lonely inn,can I bear the cold spring?

I hear at lengthening sunset the home-bound cuckoos sing.


Mume blossoms sent by friends 

And letters brought by post,

Nostalgic thoughts uncounted assail me oft in host.

The local river flows around the local hill.

Should it flow to foreign lands and flow against its will?

This lyric was written in 1097 when the poet was banished to Chenzhou.The Peach Blossom Land was the Utopia for Chinese literati.

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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