Bathed and Washed
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)

《沐浴子》

- Last updated: 2024-04-12 14:42:45

Bathed and Washed by Li Bai (Li Po)
中文原文

沐芳莫弹冠,浴兰莫振衣。

处世忌太洁,至人贵藏晖。

沧浪有钓叟,吾与尔同归。


English Translation

‘Bathed in fragrance, do not brush your hat;

Washed in perfume, do not shake your coat:


‘Knowing the world fears what is too pure,

The wisest man prizes and stores light!’


By Bluewater

an old angler stat:

You and I together,

let us go home.

By Li Bai

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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