Lyrics to the Linjiang Narcissi
- Poetry of Ouyang Xiu


- Last updated: 2024-06-16 10:09:33

Lyrics to the Linjiang Narcissi by Ouyang Xiu







English Translation

Beyond the foliage of willows claps soft thunder, over the pool falls rain,

Drips and drops of rain on lotus leaves sound create.

A rainbow hangs to the west of this place.

By the balustrade I lean,

Waiting for the moon to shine and height gain.

Here come swallows scouting about columns and beams that are decorated,

So I lower the curtains by letting loose hooks made of jade.

The pattern on the flat bamboo mat glistens like cool water waves.

By the pair of glass pillows,

Lie a hairpin on its side mislaid.

By Ouyang Xiu

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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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