Su Wu to His Wife
- Poetry of Su Wu

《别妻》

- Last updated: 2024-04-13 16:22:44

Su Wu to His Wife by Su Wu
中文原文

结发为夫妻,恩爱两不疑。

欢娱在今夕,燕婉及良时。

征夫怀远路,起视夜何其。

参晨皆已没,去去从此辞。

行役在战场,相见未有期。

握手一长欢,泪为生别滋。

努力爱春华,莫忘欢乐时。

生当复来归,死当长相思。


English Translation

As man and wife we ever unite;

We never doubt about our love.

Let us enjoy our fill tonight

As tender as a cooing dove!

Thinking of the way I should go,

I rise to see if time is due.

The stars appear dim high and low;

Adieu! I must bid you adieu.

Away to battlefield I’ll hie;

I know not if we’ll meet again.

Holding your hand, I give a sign;

My tears of farewell fall like rain.

Enjoy the spring flowers in view!

Do not forget our time in glee!

Safe and sound, I’ll come back to you;

Even killed, my love won’t die with me.

By Su Wu

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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