Early Departure at Shang Mountain
- Poetry of Wen Tingyun

《商山早行》

- Last updated: 2024-04-16 21:46:08

Early Departure at Shang Mountain by Wen Tingyun
中文原文

晨起动征铎,客行悲故乡。

鸡声茅店月,人迹板桥霜。

槲叶落山路,枳花明驿墙。

因思杜陵梦,凫雁满回塘。


English Translation

Getting up early disturbs the journeying bells,

The traveler grieves for leaving home.

Cocks crow, small inn and the moon.

Footprints, boards of bridge and the frost.

Leaves of Mongolian oak fall on the mountain paths,

Citron flowers brighten the walls of the post,

Thus reminded of the dream in Duling Tomb,

Where bobbing ducks filling the curving pool.

By Wen Tingyun

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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