The Wenxingguan Hall
- Poetry of Wang Wei

《文杏馆》

- Last updated: 2024-06-06 10:18:47

The Wenxingguan Hall by Wang Wei
中文原文

文杏裁为梁,香茅结为宇。

不知栋里云,去作人间雨。


English Translation

Of precious ginko wood are these graceful beams,

The eaves are woven lemongrass so sweet.

The lingering clouds between the purlins, it seems,

Would turn to downpour the human world to greet.

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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