Crab-Apple Flower
- Poetry of Su Shi

《海棠》

- Last updated: 2023-12-29 22:20:51

Crab-Apple Flower by Su Shi
中文原文

东风袅袅泛崇光,香雾空蒙月转廊。

只恐夜深花睡去,故烧高烛照红妆。


English Translation

The flower in east wind exhales a tender light 

And spreads a fragrant mist when the moon turns away.

I am afraid she'd fall asleep at dead of night;

A candle's lit to make her look fair as by day.

1083

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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