Lament of a Fair Lady
- Poetry of Su Shi


- Last updated: 2024-03-23 17:12:48

Lament of a Fair Lady by Su Shi





English Translation

Who's playing on the flute a gloomy tune;

Breaking the green window's dreary dream?

The dreary mist veils the new moon.

Outspread in the sky over the stream.

You linger still though you must go.

Afraid flowers and willow down will fall tomorrow.

How could the stream not eastward flow?

Let willow down follow your boat laden with sorrow!


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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