Journey to the South
- Poetry of Du Fu


- Last updated: 2024-03-29 16:49:16

Journey to the South by Du Fu





English Translation

Peach blossoms in full bloom by riverside,

Cloud-like sails pass by maples far and wide.

To earn a living I have to change place,

Coming from afar, tears stream on my face.

On southern journey, old and ill I sigh;

Looking northward, I long for royal sky.

Why should I torture myself for so long?

Where is the connoisseur who knows my song?

The poem is both a reflection of Du Fu’s sad life and his concern for the country and the people in his later years, and a self-assessment of the poet’s self-confidence and self-conceit in his own poetry.

· PreOn River Han
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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