(Very Brief Essay on) Understanding Chinese Poetry

(a very brief essay on)
Understanding Chinese Poetry
Here’s a hint that should make Chinese Poetry understandable and much much more enjoyable – in Chinese Poetry they don’t say ‘like’.
Here’s an example of a poem from a western poet (actually both by me):
THE FULL MOON RISES
IN THE EAST
LIKE A CHILD’S
LOST BALLOON

Now take the same idea and remove the ‘like’. What you end up with is 2 statements that YOU the reader must assemble and find the connection.

THE FULL MOON RISES
IN THE EAST
A CHILD LOOSES
HIS WHITE BALLOON

The Chinese version says the same thing in the same way but it becomes more subtle, more refined, more open-ended for interpretation. And when, in a Chinese poem you have not 2 layers but multi layers of meaning the poems are all the more sophisticated.

Pretty cool huh? (This mini-essay is from Musea e-mail club, #15)

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