The morning glow shone on the painting screen
- Poetry of Wen Tingyun

《菩萨蛮》

- Last updated: 2024-03-21 19:58:11

The morning glow shone on the painting screen by Wen Tingyun
中文原文

小山重叠金明灭,鬓云欲度香腮雪。

懒起画蛾眉,弄妆梳洗迟。

照花前后镜,花面交相映。

新帖绣罗襦,双双金鹧鸪。


English Translation

The morning glow shone on the painting screen,

you smiled to stroke your hairs and snowy skin.

Lazy to draw the eyebrows,spoonily waited for someone.


The silver mirror reflected your angelic silhouette,

you looked to touch those lavenders and snowy violet.

Embroidered two mandarin ducks,spoonily yearned for someone.

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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