Written on the Wall of the West Woods Temple
- Poetry of Su Shi


- Last updated: 2024-04-17 15:00:18

Written on the Wall of the West Woods Temple by Su Shi



English Translation

A mountain range in panorama becomes a peak from the side,

Far, near, high and low, with no two alike.

I do not to know the true face of Lushan Mountain;

Only because I myself am in the mountain.

Su Shi was a jack of all trades back in the Song Dynasty. After visiting the mountains, he wrote this poem with the intention of reminding readers to not be blinded by personal prejudices so that we can see things as they really are.

· PreNostalgia
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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