Answering Vice-Prefect Zhang
- Poetry of Wang Wei


- Last updated: 2024-04-26 16:28:08

Answering Vice-Prefect Zhang by Wang Wei
Simplified Chinese Version





Traditional Chinese Version

晚年惟好靜, 萬事不關心。

自顧無長策, 空知返舊林。

松風吹解帶, 山月照彈琴。

君問窮通理, 漁歌入浦深。

English Translation

As the years go by, give me but peace,

Freedom from ten thousand matters.

I ask myself and always answer:

What can be better than coming home?

A wind from the pine-trees blows my sash,

And my lute is bright with the mountain moon.

You ask me about good and evil fortune?....

Hark, on the lake there's a fisherman singing!


· PreMount ZhongNan
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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