Drunken,I Walk Alone to Visit the Four Lis
- Poetry of Su Shi

《被酒独行遍至子云威徽先觉四黎之舍 三首选二》

- Last updated: 2024-03-23 14:29:58

Drunken,I Walk Alone to Visit the Four Lis by Su Shi







English Translation


Half drunk,half sober,I ask my way to the four Lis,

Bamboo spikes and rattan creepers tangle before me.

I can but follow the way where cow turds are spread,

And find their houses farther west of cattle shed.

Three or four children of the Lis with their hair tressed,

Blowing green onion pipes,welcome me the old guest.

Do not seek happiness to the end of the earth!

By the side of the brook you'll find genuine mirth.

Written in exile on Hainan Island.Two poems out of three are chosen for this collection.

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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