Spring South of the River
- Poetry of Du Mu

《江南春》

- Last updated: 2024-04-26 09:55:44

Spring South of the River by Du Mu
中文原文

千里莺啼绿映红,水村山郭酒旗风。

南朝四百八十寺,多少楼台烟雨中。


English Translation

Orioles call for a thousand li, green's reflected in the river;

Waterside village; hillside rampart; wine; a banner in the wind.

In the time of the southern dynasties, there were four hundred and eighty temples;

How many pavilions there are now in the mist and rain.

By Du Mu

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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