Red Mume Blossom
- Poetry of Su Shi

《红梅》

- Last updated: 2024-03-23 14:24:16

Red Mume Blossom by Su Shi
中文原文

怕愁贪睡独开迟,自恐冰容不入时。

故作小红桃杏色,尚余孤瘦雪霜姿。

寒心未肯随春态,酒晕无端上玉肌。

诗老不知梅格在,更看绿叶与青枝。


English Translation

Enjoying sleep and shunning sadness,she blossoms late,

Afraid an icy look might not be up to date.

Like peach and apricot she rouges her fair face;

Like snow and frost she has her lonely,slender grace.

Her heart is cold and will not seek to please as spring;

Her skin like jade is tinged with the hue wine would bring.

How can she be described?An old poet knows not 

But says she's leafless peach and green-boughed apricot.

By Su Shi

· PreSeeking Spring
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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