The song of a wife
- Poetry of Zhang Ji

《节妇吟》

- Last updated: 2024-03-22 17:22:38

The song of a wife by Zhang Ji
中文原文

君知妾有夫,赠妾双明珠。

感君缠绵意,系在红罗襦。

妾家高楼连苑起,良人执戟明光里。

知君用心如日月,事夫誓拟同生死。

还君明珠双泪垂,恨不相逢未嫁时。


English Translation

You know i have husband but still send me diamond,

i know what you think,so i inlaid it in my red dress.

I live in the royal courtyard,my husband is a guard.

I know what you think,but i still play the songs for him.

Now return your diamond tearfully,sorry,the handsome boy,

i'm so regretful that i haven't met you before i married him.

Zhang Ji:张籍(AD767-830),a poet in Tang dynasty

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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