Near the Lizhou Ferry
- Poetry of Wen Tingyun


- Last updated: 2024-05-10 21:08:53

Near the Lizhou Ferry by Wen Tingyun





English Translation

The sun has set in the water's clear void,

And little blue islands are one with the sky.

On the bank a horse neighs. A boat goes by.

People gather at a willow- clump and wait for the ferry.

Down by the sand-bushes sea-gulls are circling,

Over the wide river-lands flies an egret.

...Can you guess why I sail, like an ancient wise lover,

Through the misty Five Lakes, forgetting words?


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.

© 2024 Famous Chinese Poems in English