On Meeting My Friend Feng Zhu in the Capital
- Poetry of Wei Yingwu


- Last updated: 2024-03-31 11:41:46

On Meeting My Friend Feng Zhu in the Capital by Wei Yingwu





English Translation

Out of the east you visit me,

With the rain of Baling still on your clothes,

I ask you what you have come here for;

You say: "To buy an ax for cutting wood in the mountains"

...Hidden deep in a haze of blossom,

Swallow fledglings chirp at ease

As they did when we parted, a year ago....

How grey our temples have grown since them!


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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