Travelling Again
- Poetry of Du Fu

《后游》

- Last updated: 2024-03-25 10:34:53

Travelling Again by Du Fu
中文原文

寺忆曾游处,桥伶再渡时。

江山如有待,花柳更无私。

野润烟光薄,沙暄日色迟。

客愁全为减,舍此复何之。


English Translation

I remember the temple, this route I've travelled before,

I recall the bridge as I cross it again.

It seems the hills and rivers have been waiting,

The flowers and willows all are selfless now.

The field is sleek and vivid, thin mist shines,

On soft sand, the sunlight's colour shows it's late.

All the traveller's sorrow fades away,

What better place to rest than this?

This poem dates from 761, written on the occasion of a second visit to the Temple for Cultivating Enlightenment (Xiujue Si) in Chengdu.

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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