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

《洛阳女儿行》

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

A Song of a Girl From Loyang by Wang Wei
中文原文

洛阳女儿对门居,才可颜容十五余。

良人玉勒乘骢马,侍女金盘脍鲤鱼。

画阁朱(珠)楼尽相望,红桃绿柳垂檐向。

罗帷送上七香车,宝扇迎归九华帐。

狂夫富贵在青春,意气骄奢剧季伦。

自怜碧玉亲教舞,不惜珊瑚持与人。

春窗曙灭九微火,九微片片飞花琐。

戏罢曾无理曲时,妆成祗(只)是熏香坐。

城中相识尽繁华,日夜经过赵李家。

谁怜越女颜如玉⒃,贫贱江头自浣纱。


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?

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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