Early Autumn
- Poetry of Yu Xuanji


- Last updated: 2024-05-28 15:37:53

Early Autumn by Yu Xuanji





English Translation

Pastel chrysanthemum buds

shine like newly dyed silk

distant mountains

lounge in the sunset mist

a cool wind stirs

the great green trees

a clear song throbs

in the vermilion lute

pining for her husband

she spins to make brocade

he's stationed beyond the Great Wall,

under the open sky

wild geese, fly there fast

fish, go through the waters

they need your comings and goings

to carry precious letters.

Five-character poem

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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