She Sighs on Her Jade Lute
- Poetry of Wen Tingyun

《瑶瑟怨》

- Last updated: 2024-05-15 10:58:31

She Sighs on Her Jade Lute by Wen Tingyun
中文原文

冰簟银床梦不成,碧天如水夜云轻。

雁声远过潇湘去,十二楼中月自明。


English Translation

A cool-matted silvery bed; but no dreams....

An evening sky as green as water, shadowed with tender clouds;

But far off over the southern rivers the calling of a wildgoose,

And here a twelve-story building, lonely under the moon.

Seven-character-quatrain

· PreJiasheng
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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