A View of Taishan
- Poetry of Du Fu

《望岳》

- Last updated: 2024-03-25 15:26:22

A View of Taishan by Du Fu
中文原文

岱宗夫如何?齐鲁青未了。

造化钟神秀,阴阳割昏晓。

荡胸生曾云,决眦入归鸟。

会当凌绝顶,一览众山小。


English Translation

What shall I say of the Great Peak? --

The ancient dukedoms are everywhere green,

Inspired and stirred by the breath of creation,

With the Twin Forces balancing day and night.

...I bare my breast toward opening clouds,

I strain my sight after birds flying home.

When shall I reach the top and hold All mountains in a single glance?

Five-character-ancient-verse

The whole poem is unified by the word “look” in the title of the poem, and every line is about looking at the mountain, but there is not a single word “look” in the whole poem, and it gives people a sense of being in the place, which shows that the poet’s layout and artistic conception are exquisite and fantastic.

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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