April in the Countryside
- Poetry of Weng Juan

《乡村四月》

- Last updated: 2024-06-21 12:05:09

April in the Countryside by Weng Juan
中文原文

绿遍山原白满川,子规声里雨如烟。

乡村四月闲人少,才了蚕桑又插田。


English Translation

The mountains are green, the wetlands white with the reflection of the sky.

The cry of the cuckoos can be heard through the mist.

In April, there are few idle hands in the village.

Finished with silkworm and mulberry, it’s time now to plant rice.

This poem, “April in the Countryside,” is greatly admired in China, where it is represented in many anthologies and textbooks.

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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