Crossing River Han
- Poetry of Song Zhiwen

《渡汉江》

- Last updated: 2024-05-12 10:39:47

Crossing River Han by Song Zhiwen
中文原文

岭外音书断,经冬复历春。

近乡情更怯,不敢问来人。


English Translation

I longed for news on the frontier

From day to day, from year to year.

Now nearing home, timid I grow;

I dare not ask what I would know.

By Song Zhiwen

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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