For the Successful Candidates of the Civil Service Examand Grief for a Death
- Poetry of Yu Xuanji


- Last updated: 2024-05-23 13:23:36

For the Successful Candidates of the Civil Service Examand Grief for a Death by Yu Xuanji







English Translation

You can't stay long in wonderlands

or man-made worlds

it's as if you turn around

and find ten autumns gone

behind the curtain, under the quilt

an affectionate pair of mandarin ducks

here in the parrot's cage

the talking hasn't stopped

dew-streaked flowers, early morning

tell you of sorrowful faces

willows bending in evening wind

bring back pensive eyebrows

rosy clouds leave

they never come back

but Pan Yue's in love and willing to wait

until his hair turns white.

A laurel branch against the moon

matches the elegant mists

ten thousand peach trees by the river

stand in the rain, blooming red

if someone sets wine before you

you don't act disappointed

from ancient days to the present

sorrow and joy are twins.

Seven-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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