A Message to Commissioner Li at Zizhou
- Poetry of Wang Wei


- Last updated: 2024-04-26 16:33:26

A Message to Commissioner Li at Zizhou by Wang Wei





English Translation

From ten thousand valleys the trees touch heaven;

On a thousand peaks cuckoos are calling;

And, after a night of mountain rain,

From each summit come hundreds of silken cascades.

...If girls are asked in tribute the fibre they weave,

Or farmers quarrel over taro fields,

Preside as wisely as Wenweng did....

Is fame to be only for the ancients?


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