On Mawei Slope
- Poetry of Zheng Tian

《馬嵬坡》

- Last updated: 2024-05-15 11:03:19

On Mawei Slope by Zheng Tian
中文原文

玄宗回马杨妃死,云雨难忘日月新。

终是圣明天子事,景阳宫井又何人。


English Translation

When the Emperor came back from his ride they had murdered Lady Yang --

That passion unforgettable through all the suns and moons

They had led him to forsake her by reminding him

Of an emperor slain with his lady once, in a well at Jingyang Palace.

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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