Visiting Princess Changning's Pool-for-Setting-Winecups-Afloat I
- Poetry of Shangguan Wan'er


- Last updated: 2024-06-19 11:17:26

Visiting Princess Changning's Pool-for-Setting-Winecups-Afloat I by Shangguan Wan'er





English Translation

Propped on my staff, I looked over wispy peaks,

Then with hazardous pace descended frosty trails.

My goals grew serene the deeper I went in the hills,

I strayed on the path that bent with the mountain stream.

Slowly I sensed detachment in my soul,

And noticed at once how fogs were sinking low.

Be not dismayed I wrote upon that tree

It was because I cherished this hidden rest.

By Shangguan Wan'er

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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