Spring Night in the Left Office
- Poetry of Du Fu


- Last updated: 2024-04-26 10:38:33

Spring Night in the Left Office by Du Fu





English Translation

Flowers in shadow, palace wall at dusk,

Chirping birds are flying back to roost.

Stars move above the ten thousand doors;

The moon is big nearing the nine heavens.

Not sleeping, I hear a golden key;

In the wind, I think there are jade pendants.

Tomorrow morning, I have to present a memorial,

Again and again, I ask about the night.

This poem dates from 758.

The Left Office was the Imperial Chancellery, in which Du Fu held the office of Remembrancer or Reminder.

The jade pendants are on the bridles of horses which he imagines coming and going.

· PreClearing Rain
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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