I Pass Through the Lu Dukedom With a Sigh and a Sacrifice for Confucius
- Poetry of Xuanzong of Tang


- Last updated: 2024-04-24 13:56:19

I Pass Through the Lu Dukedom With a Sigh and a Sacrifice for Confucius by Xuanzong of Tang





English Translation

O Master, how did the world repay

Your life of long solicitude? --

The Lords of Zou have misprized your land,

And your home has been used as the palace of Lu....

You foretold that when phoenixes vanished, your fortunes too would end,

You knew that the captured unicorn would be a sign of the dose of your teaching....

Can this sacrifice I watch, here between two temple pillars,

Be the selfsame omen of death you dreamed of long ago?


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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