In the early spring
- Poetry of Yan Jidao

《临江仙》

- Last updated: 2024-03-17 18:56:05

In the early spring by Yan Jidao
中文原文

浅浅余寒春半,雪消蕙草初长。

烟迷柳岸旧池塘。

风吹梅蕊闹,雨细杏花香。

月堕枝头欢意,从前虚梦高唐,觉来何处放思量。

如今不是梦,真个到伊行。


English Translation

Early spring the snow hasn't thawed,

the little buds have sprouted.

On the old pond where mist surrounds willow trees,

i pluck a plum flower in the light rain.


Cuckoos cry their heart out to redden

this beautiful promise land.

How could i distinguish which dream or reality is,

seeing you kiss me,i just couldn't believe this's all true.

By Yan Jidao

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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