A Small Pond
- Poetry of Yang Wanli


- Last updated: 2024-04-12 14:21:48

A Small Pond by Yang Wanli



English Translation

From fountainheads water streaks out thin and quiet.

Soft and Sunny are trees reflected in the pond.

A slim lotus leaf, not yet unfurled, scarcely appears

When on its pointed tip a dragonfly is alighted.

By Yang Wanli

· PreMid-autumn Moon
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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