East of the Town
- Poetry of Wei Yingwu


- Last updated: 2024-03-24 17:21:24

East of the Town by Wei Yingwu







English Translation

From office confinement all year long,

I have come out of town to be free this morning

Where willows harmonize the wind

And green hills lighten the cares of the world.

I lean by a tree and rest myself

Or wander up and down a stream.

...Mists have wet the fragrant meadows;

A spring dove calls from some hidden place.

...With quiet surroundings, the mind is at peace,

But beset with affairs, it grows restless again....

Here I shall finally build me a cabin,

As Tao Qian built one long ago.


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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