The Ruin of the Gusu Palace
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)


- Last updated: 2024-03-24 16:48:41

The Ruin of the Gusu Palace by Li Bai (Li Po)



English Translation

Deserted garden,crumbling terrace,willows green,

Sweet notes of Lotus Song cannot revive old spring.

All are gone but the moon o'er West River that's seen 

The ladies fair who won the favor of the king.

The Gusu Palace in present-day Suzhou is where the King of Wu with his beautiful Xi Shi held perpetual revelries till the king of Yue annihilated him in the fifth century B.C.

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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