<Joy of Eternal Union> For Sun Juyuan
- Poetry of Su Shi

《永遇乐 寄孙巨源》

- Last updated: 2024-03-23 17:07:10

<Joy of Eternal Union> For Sun Juyuan by Su Shi









English Translation

I long remember when web a de goodbye 

On Northeast Tower high,

The silvery moonlight looked like water bright.

But songs and wine,  however fine,

Could not keep you from going away.

Only the moon followed you for miles on your way

Since we parted, I've seen the moon wax and wane.

But who would drink with lonely me again?

Uprolling the screen,

Only my shadow's seen,

I stay awake until daybreak.

Today your friend comes from the river's end,

And brings to me your memory.

You ask the river clear 

To bring nostalgic tear 

As far as the east sea.

I do not know now where are you.

In palace hall by western wall,

Is your coverlet in deep night wet with dew?

When you see in the coridor the moving moonrays,

Could you forget the bygone days?

The poet writes this lyric for a friend with whom he parted on a moonlit night.

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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