Sand of Silk-washing Stream
- Poetry of Su Shi


- Last updated: 2024-03-23 14:23:56

Sand of Silk-washing Stream by Su Shi




English Translation

Date-flowers fall in showers on my hooded head,

At both ends of the village wheels are spinning thread,

A straw-cloak'd man sells cucumber beneath a willow tree.

Wine-drowsy when the road is long,I yawn for bed:

Throat parched when sun is high,I long for tea,

I'll knock at this door.What have they for me?

This is one of the five lyrics written in 1078 when Su Shi,magistrate of Xuzhou,went to the Rocky Pool to give thanks for the rain.It presents a rural scene in early summer and shows the cordial relation between the magistrate and villagers.

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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