Shortened Form of Magnolia Flower-The lute
- Poetry of Su Shi

《减字木兰花·琴》

- Last updated: 2023-12-28 21:24:30

Shortened Form of Magnolia Flower-The lute by Su Shi
中文原文

神闲意定,万籁收声天地静。

玉指冰弦,未动宫商意已传。

悲风流水,写出寥寥千古意。

归去无眠,一夜余音在耳边。


English Translation

Leisurely and tranquil,

When all voices are hushed,the sky and earth seem still.

Before a tune is played

By fingers and lute of jade,its feeling is conveyed.


The breeze saddens the stream,

The lute exhales an unfulfilled eternal dream.

Sleepless when back,I hear

Its music lingering all night long in the ear.

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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