- Poetry of Zhang Jiuling


- Last updated: 2024-04-18 23:29:13

THOUGHTS III by Zhang Jiuling





English Translation

The hermit in his lone abode

Nurses his thoughts cleansed of care,

Them he projects to the wild goose

For it to his distant Sovereign to bear.

Who will be moved by the sincerity

Of my vain day-and-night prayer?

What comfort is for my loyalty

When fliers and sinkers can compare?


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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