The Peach-leaves Ferry
- Poetry of Xu Wei

《桃叶渡》

- Last updated: 2024-03-15 17:29:16

The Peach-leaves Ferry by Xu Wei
中文原文

书中见桃叶,相忆如不死。

今过桃叶渡,但见一条水。


English Translation

I see the peach leaves in the book,

it said lover could revive if you throw leaves in river.

Now i drop by the Peach-leaves Ferry,

leaves on the river like the boats that conjure the soul,wind blows.

Xu Wei,the greatest painter in Ming dynasty,he is called"Chinese Van Gogh",he also is good at poems,plays and calligraphy.He was living in Shaoxing city,but no one knew his name.He was a talent,but couldn't find a way to get the fame he longed.Finally,he became crazy and used the awl to impale his ears.People thought he as a trash.In the end of his life,he died of poverty,no one cared him.

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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