On the Mountain Holiday Thinking of My Brothers in Shandong
- Poetry of Wang Wei

《九月九日忆山东兄弟》

- Last updated: 2024-05-13 09:54:29

On the Mountain Holiday Thinking of My Brothers in Shandong by Wang Wei
中文原文

独在异乡为异客,每逢佳节倍思亲。

遥知兄弟登高处,遍插茱萸少一人。


English Translation

All alone in a foreign land,

I am twice as homesick on this day

When brothers carry dogwood up the mountain,

Each of them a branch-and my branch missing.

Seven-character-quatrain

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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