Seeing Prefect Yang Ji Off on His Way to Guozhou
- Poetry of Wang Wei

《送杨长史赴果州》

- Last updated: 2024-04-17 14:56:25

Seeing Prefect Yang Ji Off on His Way to Guozhou by Wang Wei
中文原文

褒斜不容幰,之子去何之。

鸟道一千里,猿啼十二时。

官桥祭酒客,山水女郎祠。

别后同明月,君应听子规。


English Translation

With the dale so narrow for a carriage, sir,

For hundreds of miles, where're you off to, pray?

No living things but birds can pass from here,

And lonely apes keep wailing night and day…

Why, still libation's made and you set out

'Cross cliffs and rills and temples and famous sites.

Though the same bright moon we share the land throughout,

Do note the cuckoo's call among those heights!

By Wang Wei

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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