Song of Green Water
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)

《渌水曲》

- Last updated: 2024-03-24 16:47:21

Song of Green Water by Li Bai (Li Po)
中文原文

渌水明秋月,南湖采白蘋。

荷花娇欲语,愁杀荡舟人。


English Translation

O'er water green the autumn moonshine s bright,

On Southern Lake they gather lilies white.

The lotus-blooms so lovely as to speak,

Outshine the bashful oars women's fair cheek.

By Li Bai (Li Po)

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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