For a Friend Who Didn't Arrive Because of Heavy Rain
- Poetry of Yu Xuanji


- Last updated: 2024-05-29 15:20:45

For a Friend Who Didn't Arrive Because of Heavy Rain by Yu Xuanji





English Translation

The wild geese and fish, those messengers,

have carried mail in vain

the rooster and the broom corn

are sad that we didn't meet

I close the door and sigh

caught in a cage of moonlight

I lift the curtain and find its silk

already coming to pieces

close by, spring water whistles

crowding its stone channel

farther away, muddy waves

lap at the river's banks

homesickness strikes travelers

out on the road in autumn

me, I recite an old poem—

five characters to the line.

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.

© 2024 Chinese Poems in English