Lyrics to the Melody of Green Jadeite Bowl
- Poetry of Ouyang Xiu


- Last updated: 2024-06-16 10:16:51

Lyrics to the Melody of Green Jadeite Bowl by Ouyang Xiu







English Translation

How long is spring in the space of a year?

Already been and gone has two thirds of it.

Viridian foliage and crimson blossoms are ever so pleasing,

Deep in the garden sway green willows, screens warm breezes filter

Yet within withdraws someone pallid and thin.

Flowers and wine are bought from Changan's markets,

Yet how could they compare to peach and plum blossoms of home?

Blame not easterlies for blowing away my sorrowful tears,

For hard to express are yearnings and impossible to seize are dreams,

To make it better there is only homecoming.

By Ouyang Xiu

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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