Rising Early
- Poetry of Yang Wanli


- Last updated: 2024-04-18 10:28:48

Rising Early by Yang Wanli



English Translation

Chrysanthemums in bloom-as gaunt as ever;

peonies, leaves falling off; seem completely withered.

A locust, frozen nearly to death,

clings desperately to a cold branch.

By Yang Wanli

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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