Stopping at Incense Storing Temple
- Poetry of Wang Wei


- Last updated: 2024-04-26 16:31:48

Stopping at Incense Storing Temple by Wang Wei
Simplified Chinese Version





Traditional Chinese Version

不知香積寺, 數里入雲峰。

古木無人徑, 深山何處鐘。

泉聲咽危石, 日色冷青松。

薄暮空潭曲, 安禪制毒龍。

English Translation

Not knowing the way to the Temple of Heaped Fragrance,

Under miles of mountain-cloud I have wandered

Through ancient woods without a human track;

But now on the height I hear a bell.

A rillet sings over winding rocks,

The sun is tempered by green pines....

And at twilight, close to an emptying pool,

Thought can conquer the Passion-Dragon.


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.

© 2024 Chinese Poems in English