Composed in the Rainy Compound at the Beginning of Autumn
- Poetry of Du Fu


- Last updated: 2024-06-26 10:58:14

Composed in the Rainy Compound at the Beginning of Autumn by Du Fu









English Translation

Mountain clouds move over this remote frontier,

Antares once again flows to the west.

Driving rain stirs the splendid roof,

whistling in the wind, beams and rafters turn autumn.

At road’s end, a debt of gratitude to my true friend,

in twilight years I borrow the chopsticks before me.

I have wasted my time paying my respects on clear mornings,

how can I perfect plans for my superior?

I untie my robes and open the north door,

my relaxed pillow faces the southern tower.

The trees are wet, the wind’s cool comes in,

the river is noisy, vapors float on the water.

His relaxing courtesies feel agreeable to my heart,

the season is brisk, my illness a little better.

When the Commander returns to season the cauldron,

I will again visit my former hills.

By Du Fu

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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