Washing the clothes
- Poetry of Du Fu

《捣衣》

- Last updated: 2024-03-19 14:53:10

Washing the clothes by Du Fu
中文原文

亦知戍不返,秋至拭清砧。

已近苦寒月,况经长别心。

宁辞捣熨倦,一寄塞垣深。

用尽闺中力,君听空外音。


English Translation

I knew you won't come back,

in the autumn i cleaned the washboard.

A long time to wait for you in the orchard?

do you know how much i miss you lipstick?

Threw those clothes aside when the moon shone,

i just wanted to write a love song to your town.

Now i broke a twig of tulip and wept,

Baby,did you hear me?the heartbreak of a lost angel

By Tu Fu

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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