The Southern Mound
- Poetry of Wang Wei

《南垞》

- Last updated: 2024-04-12 09:32:19

The Southern Mound by Wang Wei
中文原文

轻舟南垞去,北垞淼难即。

隔浦望人家,遥遥不相识。


English Translation

The skiff is speeding to the Southern Mound,

The Northern Mound 'cross waters too far lies.

And when on shore I northward stretch my eyes,

A blurring distant view is all I've found.

By Wang Wei

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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