The Zifu Temple, Founded by the Hermit Ren
- Poetry of Yu Xuanji


- Last updated: 2024-05-27 10:20:49

The Zifu Temple, Founded by the Hermit Ren by Yu Xuanji





English Translation

Someone who liked seclusion

built this marvelous place

now sightseers and tourists

can stop and rest awhile

they write their words in vain

upon the white-washed walls

in the palace of the lotus

their names cannot be found.

the pond is dug in such a way

that the spring flows naturally

the path is made so well

that grass grows lush beside it

the Golden Wheel Pavilion

is hundreds of feet high

and it faces the river—

clear, eye-catching, bright.

Five-character poem

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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