Song of a Fairy in the Cave-The Willow Tree
- Poetry of Su Shi


- Last updated: 2023-12-24 10:53:17

Song of a Fairy in the Cave-The Willow Tree by Su Shi






English Translation

In the end of the year on Southern shore 

When early mume blossoms disappear,

The newcome spring dwells on the weeping willow tree,

Its slender waist reveals a personality free,

And what is more,

Its trunk appears more elegant and freer.

Along the way

There are no sight-seers all the day.

Who'd come to see your golden thread in sunlight sway?

Your heart would break to see catkins fly,

Your green leaves make a shade of deep dye.

Having nothing to do,

You would grow thinner,too.

If you come again with vernal breeze now,

It would dispel the vernal grief on your brow.

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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