Lament of a Fair Lady - Raindrops on Lotus Leaves
- Poetry of Yang Wanli

《昭君怨·咏荷上雨》

- Last updated: 2024-04-07 10:16:32

Lament of a Fair Lady - Raindrops on Lotus Leaves by Yang Wanli
中文原文

午梦扁舟花底,香满西湖烟水。

急雨打篷声,梦初惊。

却是池荷跳雨,散了真珠还聚。

聚作水银窝,泛清波。


English Translation

I nap at noon in a leaflike boat beneath lotus flowers;

Their fragrance spreads over mist-veiled West Lake.

I hear my boat's roof beaten by sudden showers,

And startled, I awake.


I find on lotus leaves leap drops of rain;

Like pearls they scatter and get together again.

They melt then into liquid silver

Flowing down the rippling river.

By Yang Wanli

· PreA Spring Day
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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