Azalea Blooms Viewed in Xuancheng
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)

《宣城见杜鹃花》

- Last updated: 2023-12-23 11:50:29

Azalea Blooms Viewed in Xuancheng by Li Bai (Li Po)
中文原文

蜀国曾闻子规鸟,宣城还见杜鹃花。

一叫一回肠一断,三春三月忆三巴。


English Translation

I've heard home-going cuckoos sing in Western Towers,

And here and now I see the blooming cuckoo flowers,

I turn away:my heart will break to hear them sing,

For they remind me of my homeland in late spring.

Chinese name for azalea flowers which bloom when cuckoos cry "Go home!and,according to Chinese legend,shed bloody tears.

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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