After the Fresh Blossoms Have Gone (Picking Mulberries)
- Poetry of Ouyang Xiu


- Last updated: 2024-03-24 17:06:36

After the Fresh Blossoms Have Gone (Picking Mulberries) by Ouyang Xiu





English Translation

After the fresh blossoms have gone- West Lake is good.

Tattered scraps of remnant red,

Mist of cotton catkins flying,

Weeping willow by the railing in the wind and sun.

Pipes and song scatter and cease, visitors depart.

I start to feel that spring is empty,

Let the curtain fall back down,

A pair of swallows going home through the drizzly rain.

The poet describes the pleasure of boating and drinking on the West Lake in the first two poems and the quieiude of lonely spring in the third.

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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