Eight Beats of Ganzhou Song-For a Buddhist Friend
- Poetry of Su Shi


- Last updated: 2024-01-08 17:21:38

Eight Beats of Ganzhou Song-For a Buddhist Friend by Su Shi









English Translation

The heart-stirring breeze brings in the tidal bore;

The heartless wind sees it flow out from river shore.

At the river's mouth 

Or the ferry south,

How many times have we heard parting chimes?

Don't grieve over the past!

The world changes fast.

Who could be like me,

Though white-haired,yet carefree?

Do not forsake the western shore of the lake:

On fine day the vernal hills are green;

On rainy day they are veiled by misty screen.

Few poets would be

Such bosom friends as you and me.

Do not forget in our old age,

We'll live together in hermitage.

Even if I should disappear,

You should not turn to weep for your compeer.

This lyric describes the poet's friendship with a Buddhist.

· PreTo Liu Jingwen
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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