The Moon over the West River-Written at Random
- Poetry of Xin Qiji


- Last updated: 2024-03-23 10:28:16

The Moon over the West River-Written at Random by Xin Qiji







English Translation

Drunken,I'll laugh my fill,

Having no time to be grieved.

Books of the ancients may say what they will,

They cannot be wholly believed.

Drunken last night beneath a pine-tree,

I asked it if it liked me so drunk.

Afraid it would bend to try to raise me,.

"Be off!" I said and pushed back its trunk.

This is a vivid portrayal of the drunken poet who was grieved that the books of the ancient sages became useless now that what they said could no longer be put into practice,which reveals the poet's discontent with the situation of the Southern Song.In the last line the poet injects an extremely colloquial e­xpression borrowed from ancient prose classics.

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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