The Summer Palace
- Poetry of Yuan Zhen


- Last updated: 2024-04-12 10:21:27

The Summer Palace by Yuan Zhen



English Translation

In the faded old imperial palace,

Peonies are red, but no one comes to see them....

The ladies-in-waiting have grown white-haired

Debating the pomps of Emperor Xuanzong.


· PreRiver-snow
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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