Early Autumn
- Poetry of Xu Hun

《早秋三首-其一》

- Last updated: 2024-05-04 12:29:33

Early Autumn by Xu Hun
中文原文

遥夜泛清瑟,西风生翠萝。

残萤栖玉露,早雁拂金河。

高树晓还密,远山晴更多。

淮南一叶下,自觉洞庭波。


English Translation

There's a harp in the midnight playing clear,

While the west wind rustles a green vine;

There's a low cloud touching the jade-white dew

And an early wildgoose in the River of Stars....

Night in the tall trees clings to dawn;

Light makes folds in the distant hills;

And here on the Huai, by one falling leaf,

I can feel a storm on Lake Dongting.

Five-character-regular-verse

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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