Rhyming with Ziyou's "Treading the Green"
- Poetry of Su Shi


- Last updated: 2024-03-22 18:20:28

Rhyming with Ziyou's "Treading the Green" by Su Shi









English Translation

The east wind raises a fine dust on the pathways, Excursionists are glad to enjoy new year's pleasure.

People may drink by the roadside as they have leisure, Short wheat are not afraid of the wheels of the chaise.

Townsfolk are tired of living within city wall, They make much noise on leaving their house in the morn.

Songs and drums jar the hills and shake trees, grass and thorn; Picnic baskets invite tame birds, crows, kites and all.

Who is there drawing round a crowd, barring the ways?

It is a Taoist priest who sells his charms and says:"Buy my charms and your cocoon will sure grow as big As a jar and your sheep as a pig."

Passers-by may not believe in his words so fine, They buy charms anyway to consecrate the spring.

The priest gets money and goes to a shop of wine, Drunken, he boasts his charms are wonder-working thing.


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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