<Riverside Town> Farewell to Governor Chen at Bamboo Pavilion on Lonely Hill
- Poetry of Su Shi


- Last updated: 2024-04-11 19:43:55

<Riverside Town> Farewell to Governor Chen at Bamboo Pavilion on Lonely Hill by Su Shi







English Translation

Her eyebrows penciled dark,she feels shy to be seen

Hidden behind a silken fan so green,

Stealthily she sheds tear on tear.

Let me drink farewell to you and hear 

Her sing,with tears wiped away,her song of adieu.

Do not say the imperial town is as far as the sky.

It is easier to see the sun high

Than to meet you.

The newly built painted hall to Lonely Hill is near.

For whom is made

The winding balustrade?

Falling flowers and willow down fly;

Spring belongs to next year.

I try to row a boat to find the things gone by

O whom can I ask?In my eye

I only see water one with the sky.

The poet writes this lyric for a songstress to bid adieu to the governor of Hangzhou.

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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