Lyrics to Blue Gate Prelude
- Poetry of Zhang Xian


- Last updated: 2024-06-13 14:48:13

Lyrics to Blue Gate Prelude by Zhang Xian





English Translation

The weather is such that a moment's warmth could suddenly a slight chill become,

Then comes evening before the wind and rain come to a stop.

Quiet and empty is the courtyard, drawing near is the vernal equinox,

Here I am drinking among remnants of blossoms,

With the same sentimental malaise from last year I am struck.

Sobering is the sound of bugles blaring from the watch tower carried by the wind,

Deep into the night locked behind gates and doors is stillness.

Unbearable is what the bright moon conveys

Through the wall, the shadow of a swing.


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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