Written for a Friend (Wandering Youth)
- Poetry of Su Shi

《少年游·代人寄远》

- Last updated: 2024-03-23 17:10:01

Written for a Friend (Wandering Youth) by Su Shi
中文原文

去年相送,余杭门外,飞雪似杨花。

今年春尽,杨花似雪,犹不见还家。

对酒卷帘邀明月,风露透窗纱。

恰似姮娥怜双燕,分明照、画梁斜。


English Translation

Last year we bade adieu

Outside the town;

Snow flew like willow down.

This year spring dies,

Like snow willow down flies,

But I can't come back to see you.


The screen uprolled, to wine I invite the moon bright;

Through the window the breeze brings in dew.

The Moon Goddess seems to care

For the swallows in pair.

She sheds her light

Into their dream on painted beam.

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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