Sitting on the Tower
- Poetry of Wang Anshi

《晚楼闲坐》

- Last updated: 2024-04-03 12:10:56

Sitting on the Tower by Wang Anshi
中文原文

四顾山光接水光,凭栏十里芰荷香。

清风明月无人管,并作南来一味凉。


English Translation

Looking around the flashy scenes of hills linked to water,

Leaning on rail I feel lotus fragrance in the ten-li area;

None bothers me under a shining moon and the fresh breeze,

Together I do enjoy more cool waves coming from the south.

By Wang Anshi

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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