An Impromptu Verse Written by the Seaside
- Poetry of Su Shi

《纵笔三首 其一》

- Last updated: 2024-03-23 14:30:19

An Impromptu Verse Written by the Seaside by Su Shi



English Translation

The lonely Master of Eastern Slope lies ill in bed,

Dishevelled white hair flows in the wind like frost spread. 

Seeing my crimson face,my son is glad I'm fine,

I laugh for he does not know that I have drunk wine.

One poem out of three is chosen for this collection.

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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