A Song of a Girl From Loyang
- Poetry of Wang Wei


- Last updated: 2024-04-22 14:56:25

A Song of a Girl From Loyang by Wang Wei











English Translation

There's a girl from Loyang in the door across the street,

She looks fifteen, she may be a little older.

...While her master rides his rapid horse with jade bit an bridle,

Her handmaid brings her cod-fish in a golden plate.

On her painted pavilions, facing red towers,

Cornices are pink and green with peach-bloom and with willow,

Canopies of silk awn her seven-scented chair,

And rare fans shade her, home to her nine-flowered curtains.

Her lord, with rank and wealth and in the bud of life,

Exceeds in munificence the richest men of old.

He favours this girl of lowly birth, he has her taught to dance;

And he gives away his coral-trees to almost anyone.

The wind of dawn just stirs when his nine soft lights go out,

Those nine soft lights like petals in a flying chain of flowers.

Between dances she has barely time for singing over the songs;

No sooner is she dressed again than incense burns before her.

Those she knows in town are only the rich and the lavish,

And day and night she is visiting the hosts of the gayest mansions.

...Who notices the girl from Yue with a face of white jade,

Humble, poor, alone, by the river, washing silk?


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.

© 2024 CN-Poetry.com Famous Chinese Poems in English