Fish in a Gully
- Poetry of Bai Juyi


- Last updated: 2024-04-13 16:29:14

Fish in a Gully by Bai Juyi



English Translation

When sea and land undergo violent change,

Waters seethe, winds rage, the earth heaves and quakes.

While waves turn crimson as whales and dragons contend,

Fish swimming in a deep gully enjoy themselves, oblivious to all this.

By Bai Juyi

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.

List of Chinese poets

© 2024 Chinese Poems in English