Green Jade Cup-Lantem Festival
- Poetry of Xin Qiji


- Last updated: 2024-03-23 10:30:23

Green Jade Cup-Lantem Festival  by Xin Qiji








English Translation

One night's east wind adorns a thousand trees with flowers 

And blows down stars in showers.

Fine steeds and carved cabs spread fragrance en route,

Music vibrates from the flute,

The moon sheds its full light

While fish and dragon lanterns dance all night.

In gold-thread dress,with moth or willow ornaments,

Giggling,they melt into the throng with trails of scents.

But in the crowd once and again 

I look for her in vain.

When all at once I turn my head,

I find her there where lantern light is dimly shed.

The Lantern Festival was the 15th day of the first lunar month when Chinese people used to adorn trees with lanters as if they were stars falling in showers to vie in brightness with the full moon.In this lyric the poet contrasted the lady he was looking for with the throng of golden-dressed women so as to show her and his lofty character.

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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