The Temple of the Premier of Shu
- Poetry of Du Fu

《蜀相》

- Last updated: 2024-05-07 18:13:25

The Temple of the Premier of Shu by Du Fu
中文原文

丞相祠堂何处寻?锦官城外柏森森。

映阶碧草自春色,隔叶黄鹂空好音。

三顾频烦天下计,两朝开济老臣心。

出师未捷身先死,长使英雄泪满襟。


English Translation

Where is the temple of the famous Premier? --

In a deep pine grove near the City of Silk,

With the green grass of spring colouring the steps,

And birds chirping happily under the leaves.

...The third summons weighted him with affairs of state

And to two generations he gave his true heart,

But before he could conquer, he was dead;

And heroes have wept on their coats ever since.

Seven-character-regular-verse

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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