Pure Serene Music-Rural Life
- Poetry of Xin Qiji


- Last updated: 2024-03-23 10:31:08

Pure Serene Music-Rural Life by Xin Qiji





English Translation

The thatched roof is slanting low,

Beside the brook green grasses grow.

Who talks with drunken Southern voice so sweet?

A white-haired man and wife in their retreat.

East of the brook their eldest son is hoeing weeds;

Their second son now makes a cage for hens he feeds.

I like their youngest son who,having nothing done,

Lies by the brook podding lotus seeds one by one.

This lyric depicts a happy family of Southern villagers.

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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