Mon 28 Sep, 2009 01:05 am
Do you think the following long sentence is good in English or not?
Beside the half-raised blind, the half-closed door, crushed ice for earth and white jade for pot,three parts of whiteness from the pear-tree stolen,one part from plum for scent(which pear has not) moon-maidens stitched them with white silken thread, and virgins' tears the new-made flowers did spot, which now, like bashful maids that no word say, lean languid on the breeze at close of day.
Very beautiful. I think it's good in the sense that it serves its purpose.
It might be considered poetical English, but whether or not it is "good" English is another matter altogether. As poetry, it's not bad, although the metaphors are lame and confusing. As prose, it sucks.
Thanks for commenting.
Are you native English English speaker?
Of course thanks to Set, too.
It's not good English, sorry.
No, I'm a native American English speaker- not native American, native American as in red Indian (as they say here in England) but I'm a speaker of English who was born in America and has English as my first language and the only language I speak with fluency.
I like the language you posted here. I think it's good because it describes a scene in a way that sets a mood and makes me want to read more.
But then I always like description and words- and the opening: 'Beside the half-raised blind, the half-closed door', drew me right in.
Who wrote this one?
David Hawkes wrote it. Oh, he just translated the original Chinese poem into the excellent English long sentence.
Once I realized it was poetry, it started to make more sense, but more punctuation would definitely help. The verb at the end of so many clauses begins to seem artificial after awhile. "Crushed ice for earth, white jade for pot" is pretty obscure--is it a reference to some Chinese literary allusion? The images are striking.