A Night Thought on Terrace Tower
- Poetry of Wei Zhuang

《章台夜思》

- Last updated: 2024-06-03 11:38:46

A Night Thought on Terrace Tower by Wei Zhuang
中文原文

清瑟怨遥夜,绕弦风雨哀。

孤灯闻楚角,残月下章台。

芳草已云暮,故人殊未来。

乡书不可寄,秋雁又南回。


English Translation

Far through the night a harp is sighing

With a sadness of wind and rain in the strings....

There's a solitary lantern, a bugle-call --

And beyond Terrace Tower down goes the moon.

...Fragrant grasses have changed and faded

While still I have been hoping that my old friend would come....

There are no more messengers I can send him,

Now that the wildgeese have turned south.

Five-character-regular-verse

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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