Riverside Pavilion
- Poetry of Du Fu


- Last updated: 2024-03-29 17:01:45

Riverside Pavilion by Du Fu





English Translation

I lie supine by riverside,

And croon while gazing on fields wide.

With running water I won’t vie;

My mind floats with the cloud on high.

Spring will soon be late in the gloom.

Why should flowers vie in full bloom?

The war is raging in the east.

Can I not frown with mind unreleased?

The poem describes how the poet feels when he is sitting alone in a small pavilion by the river.

This poem is apparently leisurely and comfortable, but in reality it is a piece of anxiety and bitterness. The poem is a mixture of emotion and reason, and is full of interest.

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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