Looking for Spring on the West Lake
- Poetry of Xu Zaisi

《蟾宫曲·西湖寻春》

- Last updated: 2024-06-25 11:50:56

Looking for Spring on the West Lake by Xu Zaisi
中文原文

清明春色三分,湖上行舟,陌上行人。

一片花阴,两行柳影,十里莎裀。

不要多殽排一品,休嫌少酒止三巡。

处处开樽,步步寻春。

花下归来,带月敲门。


English Translation

Late spring boasts its charm,

Pleasure boats ripple the lake,

Tourists are strolling here and there.

Colorful flowers everywhere.

Two lines of willow trees,

Boundless is the grass green.

There is no need of delicious delicacy,

Don’t complain about moderate drinking.

Stroll and have a drink at any time,

Don’t miss the beautiful spring prime.

I am back home along the flower path,

My knock on the door is echoed in the moonlight bath.

By Xu Zaisi

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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