New Year's Day
- Poetry of Wang Anshi

《元日》

- Last updated: 2024-06-06 11:13:09

New Year's Day by Wang Anshi
中文原文

爆竹声中一岁除,东风送暖入屠苏。

千门万户曈曈日,争插新桃换旧符。


English Translation

Amid the boom of firecrackers a year has come to an end,

And the spring wind has wafted warm breath to the wine.

While the rising sun shines over each and every household,

People would put up new peachwood charm for the old.

By Wang Anshi

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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