Melancholy Thoughts
- Poetry of Yu Xuanji


- Last updated: 2024-05-24 13:47:51

Melancholy Thoughts by Yu Xuanji





English Translation

Leaves falling one by one

and rain at dusk is tender

vermilion lute, playing alone

sound of a clear voice singing

try to ignore your regret

at having no intimate friends or lovers

try to build up your character

and cast your bitterness into the sea

sound of a carriage outside the door

come for some venerable elder

heaps of Taoist books

scattered in front of the pillow

raggedly dressed people

eventually go to heaven

green water and blue hills

already here and gone.

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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