To the Firefly
- Poetry of Yu Shinan

《咏萤》

- Last updated: 2024-03-22 20:55:54

To the Firefly by Yu Shinan
中文原文

的历流光小,飘飖弱翅轻。

恐畏无人识,独自暗中明。


English Translation

Flickering, you shed a green light;

Wafting weak wings, you flit in flight.

Being afraid to be unknown,

In the darkness you gleam alone.

By  Yu Shinan

· PreTo the Cicada
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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