The Moon on the West River-To the Fairy of Mume Flower
- Poetry of Su Shi


- Last updated: 2024-01-09 17:13:01

The Moon on the West River-To the Fairy of Mume Flower by Su Shi





English Translation

Your bones of jade defy miasmal death;

Your flesh of snow exhales immortal breath.

The sea sprite among flowers often sends to you 

A golden-eyed,green-feathered cockatoo.

Powder would spoil your face;

Your lips need no rouge cream.

As high as morning cloud you rise with grace;

With pear flower you won't share your dream.


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.

© 2024 Famous Chinese Poems in English