Watching the Tidal Bore (Auspicious Partridge)
- Poetry of Su Shi

《瑞鹧鸪·观潮》

- Last updated: 2024-03-23 17:11:38

Watching the Tidal Bore (Auspicious Partridge) by Su Shi
中文原文

碧山影里小红旗。

侬是江南踏浪儿。

拍手欲嘲山简醉,齐声争唱浪婆词。

西兴渡口帆初落、渔浦山头日未欹。

侬欲送潮歌底曲,尊前还唱使君诗。


English Translation

In the shade of blue hills small red flags undulate,

You are sons of the Southerners treading waves green.

Clapping your hands,you laugh at the drunk magistrate;

In unison,you vie to sing “Goddess Marine”.


Sails have just lowered down in the Ferry Xixing;

Atop Yupu hills the sun begins to decline.

If you want to see the tide fall,what will you sing?

It's your magistrate's song before a cup of wine.

By Su Shi

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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