Living in the Mountains in Summer
- Poetry of Yu Xuanji


- Last updated: 2024-06-19 17:39:16

Living in the Mountains in Summer by Yu Xuanji





English Translation

I've moved and now I live up here

where gods could make their homes

the shrubs and thickets mix and bloom—

nobody had to plant them

the little tree in the courtyard

is where I hang my laundry

all the wine I can drink from

this mountain spring I sit by

my windows and my hallways

go deep through the bamboo trail

I use my silky clothes

to wrap up heaps of scattered books

rowing out idly in my decorated boat

chanting poems to the radiant moon

and the light breeze blows and blows—

I can trust it to bring me back.

Seven-character poem

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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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