Joy of Eternal Union The Pavilion of Swallows
- Poetry of Su Shi

《永遇乐·彭城夜宿燕子楼》

- Last updated: 2024-03-23 14:28:16

Joy of Eternal Union The Pavilion of Swallows by Su Shi
中文原文

彭城夜宿燕子楼,梦盼盼,因作此词。

明月如霜,好风如水,清景无限。

曲港跳鱼,圆荷泻露,寂寞无人见。

紞如三鼓,铿然一叶,黯黯梦云惊断。

夜茫茫,重寻无处,觉来小园行遍。

天涯倦客,山中归路,望断故园心眼。

燕子楼空,佳人何在,空锁楼中燕。

古今如梦,何曾梦觉,但有旧欢新怨。

异时对,黄楼夜景,为余浩叹。


English Translation

I lodged at the Pavilion of Swallows in Pengcheng,dreamed of the fair lady Panpan,and wrote the following poem.

The bright moonlight is like frost white,

The gentle breeze like water clean:

Far and wide extends the night scene.

In the haven fish leap

And dew-drops roll down lotus leaves 

In solitude no man perceives.

Drums beat thrice in the night so deep,

A leaf falls with a tinkling sound so loud 

That gloomy,I awake from my dream of the Cloud.

Under the boundless pall of night,

Nowhere again can she be found

Though in the small garden I have walked around 


A tired wayfarer far from home.

In the mountains may roam,

His native land from view is blocked

The Pavilion of Swallows is empty.Where 

Is the lady so fair?

In the Pavilion only swallows'nest is locked.

Both the past and the present are like dreams,

From which we have ne'er been awake,it seems.

We have but joys and sorrows old and new.

Some other day others will come to view 

The Yellow Tower's night scenery,

Then they would sigh for me!

The Pavilion of Swallows in Pengcheng(present-day Xuzhou)was the place where the fair lady Pan-pan,famous singer and dancer of the Tang dynasty,lived alone for more than ten years,refusing to remarry after the death of her beloved lord.

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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