Passing the Ridge
- Poetry of Su Shi

《过岭》

- Last updated: 2024-03-23 14:31:11

Passing the Ridge by Su Shi
中文原文

七年来往我何堪,又试曹溪一勺甘。

梦里似曾迁海外,醉中不觉到江南。

波生濯足鸣空涧,雾绕征衣滴翠岚。

谁遣山鸡忽惊起,半岩花雨落毵毵。


English Translation

How could I bear journeys to and fro for seven years!

  Again I taste sweet water in the Crooked Stream.

With drunken eyes I see the Southern land appears;

  My exile by the seaside seems but like a dream.

Waves roaring in the gully can still wash my feet;

  Mist dripping like green drops moistens a wayfarer's frock. 

As I pass by,a pheasant startled flies so fleet 

  That flowers fall in showers over half the rock.

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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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