Sighs of Autumn Rain (3)
- Poetry of Du Fu

《秋雨叹三首 (三)》

- Last updated: 2024-03-25 10:24:45

Sighs of Autumn Rain (3) by Du Fu
中文原文

长安布衣谁比数,反锁衡门守环堵。

老夫不出长蓬蒿,稚子无忧走风雨。

雨声飕飕催早寒,胡雁翅湿高飞难。

秋来未曾见白日,泥污后土何时干。


English Translation

In Chang'an, who notices the cloth-gowned scholar?
Locked behind his gate and guarding his walls.
The old man doesn't go out, the weeds grow tall,
Children blithely rush through wind and rain.
The rustling rain hastens the early cold,
And geese with wet wings find high flying hard.
This autumn we've had no glimpse of the white sun,
When will the mud and dirt become dry earth?

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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