Listening to the Rain
- Poetry of Lu You


- Last updated: 2024-04-12 09:33:34

Listening to the Rain by Lu You





English Translation

My heart is stout as in the days gone by,

Yet fleeting time has silvered my sparse hair;

Life's little span is quickly past,

But will no end be made to men's distress?

Why must a fish, eager to travel far,

Perish at last like foxes in one burrow?

Late at night, listening to the pelting rain,

I sit up and my face is bathed in tears.

By Lu You

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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