Thoughts of Old Time III
- Poetry of Du Fu


- Last updated: 2024-05-08 20:01:36

Thoughts of Old Time III by Du Fu





English Translation

Ten thousand ranges and valleys approach the Jing Gate

And the village in which the Lady of Light was born and bred.

She went out from the purple palace into the desertland;

She has now become a green grave in the yellow dusk.

Her face ! Can you picture a wind of the spring?

Her spirit by moonlight returns with a tinkling

Song of the Tartars on her jade guitar,

Telling her eternal sorrow.


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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