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Poetry in English and Chinese
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Poetry in English and Chinese

A conversation with QIU Xiaolong

Karen Christensen, publisher and writer, in conversation with novelist and poet Qiu Xiaolong, talking about the poetic impulse and the differences between poetry in English and Chinese. Towards the end, Qiu reads this poem:

Lines on the South Village* --Cui Hu (Around 790)
 
            This door, this day, last year, 
you blushed, 
the blushing faces
of the peach blossoms reflecting
yours. 
            This door, this day, 
this year, where are you,
the peach blossoms still giggling
at the spring breeze?

 题都城南庄
[作者] 崔护 [朝代] 唐
去年今日此门中,人面桃花相映红
人面不知何处去,桃花依旧笑春风。

* The poem is said to be autobiographical. On Cui’s way to the civil service examination in the capital, the poet met a beautiful girl in the village. The following year, he traveled by the same route, but he failed to see the girl there. So he wrote the lines on the deserted house in the village.

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