To Qiwu Qian Bound Home After Failing In An Examination
- Poetry of Wang Wei


- Last updated: 2024-04-19 00:01:55

To Qiwu Qian Bound Home After Failing In An Examination by Wang Wei









English Translation

In a happy reign there should be no hermits;

The wise and able should consult together....

So you, a man of the eastern mountains,

Gave up your life of picking herbs

And came all the way to the Gate of Gold --

But you found your devotion unavailing.

...To spend the Day of No Fire on one of the southern rivers,

You have mended your spring clothes here in these northern cities.

I pour you the farewell wine as you set out from the capital --

Soon I shall be left behind here by my bosomfriend.

In your sail-boat of sweet cinnamon-wood

You will float again toward your own thatch door,

Led along by distant trees

To a sunset shining on a far-away town.

...What though your purpose happened to fail,

Doubt not that some of us can hear high music.


· PreAt Parting
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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