The Bamboo by the Window
- Poetry of Bai Juyi

《题李次云窗竹》

- Last updated: 2024-06-08 14:53:04

The Bamboo by the Window by Bai Juyi
中文原文

不用裁为鸣凤管,不须截作钓鱼竿。

千花百草凋零后,留向纷纷雪里看。


English Translation

Don't cut it to make a flute.

Don't trim it for a fishing

Pole. When the grass and flowers

Are all gone, it will be beautiful

Under the falling snow flakes.

By Bai Juyi

· PreA Great Wind
Why Chinese poems is so special?
The most distinctive features of Chinese poetry are: concision- many poems are only four lines, and few are much longer than eight; ambiguity- number, tense and parts of speech are often undetermined, creating particularly rich interpretative possibilities; and structure- most poems follow quite strict formal patterns which have beauty in themselves as well as highlighting meaningful contrasts.
How to read a Chinese poem?
Like an English poem, but more so. Everything is there for a reason, so try to find that reason. Think about all the possible connotations, and be aware of the different possibilities of number and tense. Look for contrasts: within lines, between the lines of each couplet and between successive couplets. Above all, don't worry about what the poet meant- find your meaning.

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