Anxiety Of A Beauty
- Poetry of Qin Guan

《虞美人·碧桃天上栽和露》

- Last updated: 2024-06-23 10:24:36

Anxiety Of A Beauty by Qin Guan
中文原文

碧桃天上栽和露,不是凡花数。

乱山深处水萦回,可惜一枝如画为谁开?

轻寒细雨情何限!不道春难管。

为君沉醉又何妨,只怕酒醒时候断人肠。


English Translation

Peach blossom planted and exposed in heaven,

Is not [like] the typical flowers found on earth.

In the depths of the chaotic mountains, [a stream of] water lingers,

Unfortunately, such picturesque view, for whom has it blossomed for?

What limits the affection of slightly cold weather and drizzling rain holds!

Unable to prevent the passing of spring.

What harm is there in getting drunk for one’s lord,

Only afraid when sobered up, the heartbreak that follows.

The specific peach blossom mentioned in the original poem is bì táo / 碧桃, it is also the name of a song hostess that the poet has written the poem for as he empathises with the hostess who cannot be truly cherished, her passing of beauty and also her loneliness once the guests leaves.

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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