To My Friends Li Dan and Yuanxi
- Poetry of Wei Yingwu


- Last updated: 2024-05-08 20:18:43

To My Friends Li Dan and Yuanxi by Wei Yingwu





English Translation

We met last among flowers, among flowers we parted,

And here, a year later, there are flowers again;

But, with ways of the world too strange to foretell,

Spring only brings me grief and fatigue.

I am sick, and I think of my home in the country-

Ashamed to take pay while so many are idle.

...In my western tower, because of your promise,

I have watched the full moons come and go.


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.

List of Chinese poets

© 2024 Chinese Poems in English