Immortal at the magpie Bridge-Farewell on Double Seventh Eve
- Poetry of Su Shi


- Last updated: 2024-01-07 12:21:22

Immortal at the magpie Bridge-Farewell on Double Seventh Eve by Su Shi











English Translation

Like the immortal leaving the crowd,

Wafting above the cloud,

Unlike the Cowherd and the Maid who fond remain,

You blow your flute in moonlight,

Waving your hand,you go in flight.

Your boat will go away 

Across the Milky Way,

In celestial wind and rain.

We've met and drunk as if by fate.

Where will you waft when wind and rain abate?

According to Chinese myth,the Cowherd and the Weaving Maid are two lover-stars separated by the Milky Way,who would meet once every year on the eve of the seventh day of the seventh moon.But this lyric is a farewell poem of two friends on that eve.

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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