A Greeting on the Huai River to My Old Friends From Liangchuan
- Poetry of Wei Yingwu


- Last updated: 2024-05-02 21:33:44

A Greeting on the Huai River to My Old Friends From Liangchuan by Wei Yingwu





English Translation

We used to be companions on the Jiang and the Han,

And as often as we met, we were likely to be tipsy.

Since we left one another, floating apart like clouds,

Ten years have run like water-till at last we join again.

And we talk again and laugh again just as in earlier days,

Except that the hair on our heads is tinged now with grey.

Why not come along, then, all of us together,

And face the autumn mountains and sail along the Huai?


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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