For Hua Qing
- Poetry of Du Fu

《赠花卿》

- Last updated: 2024-04-14 20:19:06

For Hua Qing by Du Fu
中文原文

锦城丝管日纷纷,半入江风半入云。

此曲只应天上有,人间能得几回闻。


English Translation

In Jincheng, music of silk and flutes mixes together all day,

Half goes to the river breeze, half goes to the clouds.

Music such as this should only go to heaven above,

In this human world, how many times can it be heard?

Jincheng (‘Brocade City’) is Chengdu. The poem is a, "subtly advisory" warning against General Hua's taste for luxury.

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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