Passing by the Northern Mountains (A Mooring Under North Fort Hill)
- Poetry of Wang Wan


- Last updated: 2024-04-18 10:18:25

Passing by the Northern Mountains (A Mooring Under North Fort Hill) by Wang Wan





English Translation

My boat goes by green mountains high,

And passes through the river blue.

The water's wide at the full tide;

A sail with ease hangs in soft breeze.

The sun brings light born of last night;

New spring invades old year which fades.

How can I send word to my friend?

Homing wild geese, fly westward please!

This poem was praised highly by the dignitary and became the model of many scholars to learn from. The spectacles this poem expressed also made deep impression on the Tang poetry.  What's more, Chinese prime minister, Wen Jiabao, quoted the poem in the lecture of Cambridge University.

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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