To the tomb of Su Xiaoxiao
- Poetry of Li He


- Last updated: 2024-03-15 16:52:52

To the tomb of Su Xiaoxiao by Li He



草如茵, 松如盖。



冷翠烛, 劳光彩。


English Translation

The orchid dew is like her eyes,

No rosettes on her tombs,grow bluer the pansies.

Little grass is her cushion.

pine tree is her roof.

She wears the light wind as her gown

and the clear stream as her bracelet.

The carriage she sat silently waits for her in the twilight,

The wildfire follows her like the blue sprites.

Now she's gone on the Xiling Bridge,only the sleet whines about her story.

Su Xiaoxiao: 苏小小,A legendary tart in Northern Qi( 南齐,AD479-502).People rumour that she is the young sister of Su Tungpo(苏东坡,a poet,AD1037-1101)

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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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