Facing Snow
- Poetry of Du Fu


- Last updated: 2024-03-25 10:10:33

Facing Snow by Du Fu





English Translation

After the battle, many new ghosts cry,

The solitary old man worries and grieves.

Ragged clouds are low amid the dusk,

Snow dances quickly in the whirling wind.

The ladle's cast aside, the cup not green,

The stove still looks as if a fiery red.

To many places, communications are broken,

I sit, but cannot read my books for grief.

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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