Silk-washing Stream
- Poetry of Zhou Bangyan


- Last updated: 2024-04-12 09:24:54

Silk-washing Stream by Zhou Bangyan





English Translation

Bamboos over the lane form a canopy green;

On new lotus leaves raindrops leap and pound like tears.

By zigzag railings a poolside pavilion appears.

Swallows come back in haste when wind rolls window-screen;

Fish start when the fan's shadow in water sways.

The setting sun on willow lips sheds parting rays.

By Zhou Bangyan

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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