Manifold Little Hill
- Poetry of Yue Fei

《小重山·昨夜寒蛩不住鸣》

- Last updated: 2024-03-17 18:58:37

Manifold Little Hill by Yue Fei
中文原文

昨夜寒蛩不住鸣。

惊回千里梦,已三更。

起来独自绕阶行。

人悄悄,帘外月胧明。

白首为功名。

旧山松竹老,阻归程。

欲将心事付瑶琴。

知音少,弦断有谁听。


English Translation

The autumn crickets chirped incessantly last night,

Breaking my dream home-bound,

'Twas already mid-night.

I got up and alone in the yard walk'd around,

On window screen the moon shone bright,

There was no human sound.


My.hair turns gray 

For the glorious day,

In native hills bamboos and pines grow old.

O when can I see my household?

I would confide to my lute what I have in view,

But connoisseurs are few.

Who would be listening

Though I break my lute string?

This lyric reveals implicitly the general's resentment against the capitulationists who would not sanction his resistance against the Jurchen invaders.

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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