The Year-End Festival
- Poetry of Tao Yuanming

The Year-End Festival by Tao Yuanming





English Translation

Wind and snow see out the year;

Mild is the air despite wind and snow,

A plum and a willow tree flank my gate,

A single branch has put forth blossoms.

You claim to know of what I sing –

Thoughts inspired by wine.

To know how numerous these can be,

Hearken to the phantastic song on Zhangshan.

A festival falling on the eighth of the twelfth lunar month, at which offerings are presented to the gods in observance of an ancient tradition passed down from the Zhou Dynasty.

Zhangshan (Mount Zhang), also referred to as the Stone Gate, stands in the north of Lushan.

- Last updated: 2024-07-05 15:13:32
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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