Reading Yuan Zhen’s Poems in a Boat
I read your book of poetry by the lamplight,
And finish it when oil burns low at dead of night.
Eyes sore, I blow the light out and sit in the dark;
The waves brought up by adverse wind beat on the bark.
The poet and his friend are in exile, so he feels waves rise in his heart as on the river.
The poem “Reading Yuan Zhen’s Poems in a Boat” is a work by Bai Juyi, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The poem has a poignant tone and uses the technique of white description to show the concern and longing for Yuan Zhen through the words “the lamp is broken”, “the poem is finished”, “the eyes are aching” and “sitting in the dark”. The poem uses white descriptions to express the concern and longing for Yuan Zhen through the environment, atmosphere and colors shown by the words “the lamp is broken”, “the poem is finished”, “the eyes are sore” and “sitting in the dark”. The first three lines use the word “lamp” in succession, creating the images of “reading poetry by the lamp”, “poetry finished by the lamp” and “sitting in darkness with the lamp out”. These three imageries create a mood of miserable environment in the dark night, miserable mood in longing, and miserable life in relegation.