In a Retreat Among Bamboos
- Poetry of Wang Wei


- Last updated: 2024-04-16 19:16:57

In a Retreat Among Bamboos by Wang Wei



English Translation

Leaning alone in the close bamboos,

I am playing my lute and humming a song

Too softly for anyone to hear --

Except my comrade, the bright moon.


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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