Welcome Rain on a Spring Night
- Poetry of Du Fu

《春夜喜雨》

- Last updated: 2024-03-29 17:00:28

Welcome Rain on a Spring Night by Du Fu
中文原文

好雨知时节,当春乃发生。

随风潜入夜,润物细无声。

野径云俱黑,江船火独明。

晓看红湿处,花重锦官城。


English Translation

The good rain knows its season,

When spring arrives, it brings life.

It follows the wind secretly into the night,

And moistens all things softly, without sound.

On the country road, the clouds are all black,

On a riverboat, a single fire bright.

At dawn one sees this place now red and wet,

The flowers are heavy in the brocade city.

the brocade city is Chengdu, in south-west China.

The poem depicts the characteristics of spring rain and the scene of night rain in Chengdu with great joy and enthusiasm, eulogizing the spring rain that comes in time and nourishes everything.

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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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