Drinking Wine
- Poetry of Tao Yuanming

《饮酒》

- Last updated: 2024-06-11 22:13:25

Drinking Wine by Tao Yuanming
中文原文

结庐在人境,而无车马喧。

问君何能尔?心远地自偏。

采菊东篱下,悠然见南山。

山气日夕佳,飞鸟相与还。

此中有真意,欲辨已忘言。


English Translation

I made my home amidst this human bustle,

Yet I hear no clamour from the carts and horses.

My friend, you ask me how this can be so?

A distant heart will tend towards like places.

From the eastern hedge, I pluck chrysanthemum flowers,

And idly look towards the southern hills.

The mountain air is beautiful day and night,

The birds fly back to roost with one another.

I know that this must have some deeper meaning,

I try to explain, but cannot find the words.

By Tao Yuanming

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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