<Butterfly in Love with Flower> Lantern Festival at Mizhou
- Poetry of Su Shi


- Last updated: 2024-03-23 14:31:38

<Butterfly in Love with Flower> Lantern Festival at Mizhou by Su Shi







English Translation

On Lantern Festival by riverside at night,

The moon frost-white 

Shone on the beauties fair and bright.

Fragrance exhaled and music played under the tent,

The running horses raised no dust on the pavement.

Now I am old in lonely hillside town,

Drumbeats and flute songs up and down 

Are drowned in prayers amid mulberries and lost.

The lantern fires put out, dew falls with frost.

Over the fields dark clouds hangs low:

It threatens snow.

The Lantern Festival falis on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month.

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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