Song of Incense - Farewell
- Poetry of Su Shi


- Last updated: 2024-04-16 18:46:26

Song of Incense - Farewell by Su Shi








English Translation

We visited the riverside village hand in hand,

Letting snowlike mume flowers on silk dress fall.

How can I stand

The soul-consuming fairy land!

Now separated from you for years long,

Hearing the same old song,

Can I forget the lakeside hall,

The temple on the Lonely Hill

And Golden Gate waves overfill?

Wherever we went on whatever day,

We have written a thousand lines.

The silken sleeves would sweep the dust away.

Since we parted, who

Would often think of you?

The moon which on the lake shines,

The lakeside willow trees,

The cloud and breeze.

By Su Shi

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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