South of the River (Han Yuefu)
- Poetry of Han poetry


- Last updated: 2024-04-16 18:53:25

South of the River (Han Yuefu) by Han poetry



English Translation

South of the river, you can pick lotuses,

How like a field are the lotus leaves!

Fish play in the lotus leaves:

Fish play east of the lotus leaves,

Fish play west of the lotus leaves,

Fish play south of the lotus leaves,

Fish play north of the lotus leaves.

Han Poetry

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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