To a Friend Bound North After the Rebellion
- Poetry of Sikong Shu

《贼平后送人北归》

- Last updated: 2024-05-04 11:53:29

To a Friend Bound North After the Rebellion by Sikong Shu
中文原文

世乱同南去,时清独北还。

他乡生白发,旧国见青山。

晓月过残垒,繁星宿故关。

寒禽与衰草,处处伴愁颜。


English Translation

In dangerous times we two came south;

Now you go north in safety, without me.

But remember my head growing white among strangers,

When you look on the blue of the mountains of home.

...The moon goes down behind a ruined fort,

Leaving star-clusters above an old gate....

There are shivering birds and withering grasses,

Whichever way I turn my face.

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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