Taking Down a Trellis
- Poetry of Du Fu


- Last updated: 2024-02-24 22:40:21

Taking Down a Trellis by Du Fu





English Translation

The sticks I tied already wither and fall,

The pumpkin leaves are getting sparse and thin.

It's lucky that the white flowers fully grew,

You have to help the green vines fade away.

There's no end to the sound of insects in autumn,

Whatever's in the minds of the sparrows at dusk?

Now, the world is one of cold and waste;

Human life has its beginning too.

This poem dates from 759.

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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