Springtide on the Farm
- Poetry of Wang Wei

《春中田园作》

- Last updated: 2024-02-25 15:38:48

Springtide on the Farm by Wang Wei
中文原文

屋上春鸠鸣,村边杏花白。

持斧伐远扬,荷锄觇泉脉。

归燕识故巢,旧人看新历。

临觞忽不御,惆怅远行客。


English Translation

The turtledoves in the house are cooing;

The apricot deck the village with white,

The mulberries are pruned with axes bewing,

With hoes they sound for a fountain site.

The swallows back remember the men.

The new almanac is in old folks’ hands.

The cup is raised, but dropped again:

For those yet wandering in faraway lands!

By Wang Wei

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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