Butterflies Lingering over Flowers-Parting in the Early Morning
- Poetry of Zhou Bangyan

《蝶恋花·早行》

- Last updated: 2024-03-17 18:49:02

Butterflies Lingering over Flowers-Parting in the Early Morning  by Zhou Bangyan
中文原文

月皎惊乌栖不定。

更漏将残,轳辘牵金井。

唤起两眸清炯炯。

泪花落枕红棉冷。

执手霜风吹鬓影。

去意徊徨,别语愁难听。

楼上阑干横斗柄。

露寒人远鸡相应。


English Translation

The crow feels restless,startled by moonlight,

The waterclock drips out as later grows the night,

The windlass lifts water from the well painted gold.

She wakes me with her beaming eyes so bright,

I find the pillow wet with tears and cold.


I take her hand in mine when the frosty wind blows 

And her soft-lift hair on her forehead flows.

I'm loath to leave

But it will further grieve 

To hear her bid adieu.

She can see from upstairs the stars'Plough in the sky 

While I am far away,my mantle damp with dew,

And hear cocks'crow arouse some echoes far and nigh.

This lyric depicts the scenes before,during,and after the parting of a husband from his wife.

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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