At Nanjing Ferry
- Poetry of Zhang Hu

《题金陵渡》

- Last updated: 2024-05-15 10:28:57

At Nanjing Ferry by Zhang Hu
中文原文

金陵津渡小山楼,一宿行人自可愁。

潮落夜江斜月里,两三星火是瓜洲。


English Translation

This one-story inn at Nanjing ferry

Is a miserable lodging-place for the night --

But across the dead moon's ebbing tide,

Lights from Guazhou beckon on the river.

Seven-character-quatrain

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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