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  1. Ali Hsn's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Persian
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      • Iran
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      • Iran

    • Join Date: Nov 2013
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    Meaning in the poem: "how can this be done?"

    Dear teachers, readers,...

    What's the meaning of "how can this be done?" and "A heart that is distant creates its own solitude" in the following poem please?

    I built my cottage among the habitations of men,
    And yet there is no clamor of carriages and horses.
    You ask: "Sir, how can this be done?"
    "A heart that is distant creates its own solitude."
    I pluck chrysanthemums under the eastern hedge,
    Then gaze afar towards the southern hills.
    ... (Part of a Chinese poem by Tao YuanMing, translated into English by Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping)

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Ali Hsn; 05-Mar-2014 at 12:13. Reason: I corrected the dictation of "fact". I added the 2nd question.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • UK
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      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,925
    As far as I can work out, it means "I built my house in a place where lots of people already live but surprisingly there isn't a great load of noise made by people and carriages. Someone asks me how that's possible and I say that it's because my heart is a long way away (presumably somewhere quiet) and as a result I have been able to create a feeling of solitude and quiet even though I live somewhere noisy".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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