A Visit to Qiantang Lake in Spring
- Poetry of Bai Juyi


- Last updated: 2024-04-12 09:41:01

A Visit to Qiantang Lake in Spring by Bai Juyi





English Translation

Gushan Temple is to the north, Jiating pavilion west,

The water's surface now is calm, the bottom of the clouds low.

In several places, the first orioles are fighting in warm trees,

By every house new swallows peck at spring mud.

Disordered flowers have grown almost enough to confuse the eye,

Bright grass is able now to hide the hooves of horses.

I most love the east of the lake, I cannot come often enough

Within the shade of green poplars on White Sand Embankment.

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.

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