Lines
- Poetry of Shen Quanqi

《杂诗》

- Last updated: 2024-04-25 11:43:07

Lines by Shen Quanqi
中文原文

闻道黄龙戍,频年不解兵。

可怜闺里月,长在汉家营。

少妇今春意,良人昨夜情。

谁能将旗鼓,一为取龙城。


English Translation

Against the City of the Yellow Dragon

Our troops were sent long years ago,

And girls here watch the same melancholy moon

That lights our Chinese warriors --

And young wives dream a dream of spring,

That last night their heroic husbands,

In a great attack, with flags and drums,

Captured the City of the Yellow Dragon.

Five-character-regular-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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