A Song of Liangzhou
- Poetry of Wang Han

《凉州词二首·其一》

- Last updated: 2024-05-13 10:32:46

A Song of Liangzhou by Wang Han
中文原文

葡萄美酒夜光杯,欲饮琵琶马上催。

醉卧沙场君莫笑,古来征战几人回。


English Translation

They sing, they drain their cups of jade,

They strum on horseback their guitars.

...Why laugh when they fall asleep drunk on the sand ? --

How many soldiers ever come home?

Seven-character-quatrain

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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