A Farewell to Han Shen at the Yunyang Inn
- Poetry of Sikong Shu

《云阳馆与韩绅宿别》

- Last updated: 2024-05-04 11:48:22

A Farewell to Han Shen at the Yunyang Inn by Sikong Shu
中文原文

故人江海别,几度隔山川。

乍见翻疑梦,相悲各问年。

孤灯寒照雨,湿竹暗浮烟。

更有明朝恨,离杯惜共传。


English Translation

Long divided by river and sea,

For years we two have failed to meet --

And suddenly to find you seems like a dream....

With a catch in the throat, we ask how old we are.

...Our single lamp shines, through cold and wet,

On a bamboo- thicket sheathed in rain;

But forgetting the sadness that will come with tomorrow,

Let us share the comfort of this farewell wine.

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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