Lovesickness
- Poetry of Wang Wei

《相思》

- Last updated: 2024-04-06 19:56:29

Lovesickness by Wang Wei
中文原文
Simplified Chinese Version

红豆生南国,春来发几枝?

愿君多采撷,此物最相思。


Traditional Chinese Version

紅豆生南國, 春來發幾枝。

願君多采擷, 此物最相思。


English Translation

When those red berries come in springtime,

Flushing on your southland branches,

Take home an armful, for my sake,

As a symbol of our love.

Five-character-quatrain

· PreA 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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