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

《洞仙歌·咏柳》

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

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

江南腊尽,早梅花开后,分付新春与垂柳。

细腰肢自有入格风流,仍更是、骨体清英雅秀。

永丰坊那畔,尽日无人,谁见金丝弄晴昼?

断肠是飞絮时,绿叶成阴,无个事、一成消瘦。

又莫是东风逐君来,便吹散眉间一点春皱。


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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