The Tide Pavilion at Chengmai Post
- Poetry of Su Shi


- Last updated: 2024-01-10 17:09:08

The Tide Pavilion at Chengmai Post by Su Shi







English Translation

A tired wayfarer's sad his home is far away,

Seeing a pavilion o'er a bridge on his way.

I admire white egrets crossing autumn riverside,

Unaware the green woods are drowned in evening tide.

I'd end my life in the village by the South Sea,

The Celestial Court sends a witch to recall me.

Far,far away birds vanish into the low skies,

Beyond a stretch of blue hills the Central Plain lies.

Written in Hainan Island when the poet was about to take the boat for the mainland.

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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