On Hearing the News that My Friend Bai Juyi Is Relegated to Jiujiang
- Poetry of Yuan Zhen


- Last updated: 2024-04-11 16:26:54

On Hearing the News that My Friend Bai Juyi Is Relegated to Jiujiang by Yuan Zhen



English Translation

The going-out lamp seems flameless, looms dim and flickering;

This evening I hear my friend’s relegated to Jiujiang,

Which makes me startled and sit up although I am dying,

Into my window a dark wind with a cold rain blows strong.

By Yuan Zhen

· PreAutumn Thoughts
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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