The Gold-threaded Robe
- Poetry of Du Qiuniang

《金缕衣》

- Last updated: 2024-05-15 11:48:58

The Gold-threaded Robe by Du Qiuniang
中文原文

劝君莫惜金缕衣,劝君惜取少年时。

花开堪折直须折,莫待无花空折枝。


English Translation

Covet not a gold-threaded robe,

Cherish only your young days!

If a bud open, gather it --

Lest you but wait for an empty bough.

Folk-song-styled-verse

· PreA Message
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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