The River All Red-On Mounting Yellow Crane Tower
- Poetry of Yue Fei


- Last updated: 2024-03-17 18:59:06

The River All Red-On Mounting Yellow Crane Tower by Yue Fei









English Translation

I gaze on Central Plain from afar.

Beyond the wasteland drear and dry,

How many cities and towns there are!

In years gone by,

As many pavilions and bowers

Were screened by green willows and red flowers,

The Royal Hill adorned with pearls and emerald,

The Fairy Palace filled with flute songs.Now behold!

Neath city walls enemy horses raise a dust When the wind blows in gust.

Where are our armed men?

By swords they were slain.

And people alike

Have filled moat and dyke.

Alas!the land still seems the same,

But villages lie ruined in war flame.

When can I get the order 

To lead my warriors brave,

Whipping my steed,to cross the river wave 

And clear the border?

When I come back,again

I'd make a Southern trip on Yellow Crane.

This is a newly discovered lyric written by Yue Fei in 1138 when he stationed his army in Yuezhou (present-day Wuhan),awaiting orders to reconquer the lost Central Plain.The Yellow Crane Tower was a scenic spot by the side of the Yangtze River.

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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