Both Sides of the Yellow River Recaptured By the Imperial Army
- Poetry of Du Fu

《闻官军收河南河北》

- Last updated: 2024-04-25 21:39:53

Both Sides of the Yellow River Recaptured By the Imperial Army by Du Fu
中文原文

剑外忽传收蓟北,初闻涕泪满衣裳。

却看妻子愁何在,漫卷诗书喜欲狂。

白日放歌须纵酒,青春作伴好还乡。

即从巴峡穿巫峡,便下襄阳向洛阳。


English Translation

News at this far western station! The north has been recaptured!

At first I cannot check the tears from pouring on my coat --

Where is my wife? Where are my sons?

Yet crazily sure of finding them, I pack my books and poems- -

And loud my song and deep my drink

On the green spring-day that starts me home,

Back from this mountain, past another mountain,

Up from the south, north again-to my own town!

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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