A Song of an Autumn Night
- Poetry of Wang Wei

《秋夜曲》

- Last updated: 2024-03-18 15:35:31

A Song of an Autumn Night by Wang Wei
中文原文

桂魄初生秋露微,轻罗已薄未更衣。

银筝夜久殷勤弄,心怯空房不忍归。


English Translation

Under the crescent moon a light autumn dew

Has chilled the robe she will not change --

And she touches a silver lute all night,

Afraid to go back to her empty room.

Folk-song-styled-verse

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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