Chinese Poems


2018-2019 Poetry Event

Our poetry event for this school year features poems by various authors from different periods of Chinese history. Poems will also be presented in the styles of 吟 (yin)—a style of singing/humming a poem in tune like a song—and 诵 (song)—a style of rhythmically reading/reciting a poem—as well as standard Mandarin and Cantonese.

The yin-style and song-style recordings are shared from book series: 我爱吟诵—I Love Yin Song—by 周有光 (Zhou Youliang) and 叶嘉莹 (Ye Jiayin), all rights reserved.


POEM #1: 静夜思 (jìng yè sī / Quiet Night Thoughts)

Period: Tang Dynasty | Author: 李白 (Li Bai)

床前明月光,疑是地上霜。举头望明月,低头思故乡。

(chuáng qián míng yuè guāng, yí shì dì shàng shuāng. jǔ tóu wàng míng yuè, dī tóu sī gù xiāng.)

Translation: The moonlight pours onto the floor in front of my bed, So white and bright that I mistook it for frost on the ground. As I lift my head I look at the Moon, As I droop my head I miss my hometown.

 

POEM #2: 咏鹅 (yǒng é / Ode To The Goose)

Period: Tang Dynasty | Author: 骆宾王 (Luo Binwang)

鹅鹅鹅,曲项向天歌。白毛浮绿水,红掌拨清波。

(é é é, qū xiàng xiàng tiān gē. bái máo fú lǜ shuǐ, hóng zhǎng bō qīng bō.)

Translation: Goose, goose, goose, Your curved neck singing towards the sky. Your white feathers floating on the green waters, Your red webbed feet paddling the clear ripples.

 

POEM #3: 江南 (jiāng nán / South of the Yangtze River)

Period: Han Dynasty | Author: 汉乐府 (Anonymous folk verse from Han Dynasty)

江南可采莲,莲叶何田田,鱼戏莲叶间。鱼戏莲叶东,鱼戏莲叶西,鱼戏莲叶南,鱼戏莲叶北。

(jiāng nán kě cǎi lián, lián yè hé tián tián, yú xì lián yè jiān. yú xì lián yè dōng, yú xì lián yè xī, yú xì lián yè nán, yú xì lián yè běi.)

Translation: It’s lotus harvest season in Jiangnan, What some luscious lotus leaves. The fish swims cheerfully between the lotus leaves. The fish swims cheerfully to the east of the lotus leaves, The fish swims cheerfully to the west of the lotus leaves, The fish swims cheerfully to the south of the lotus leaves, The fish swims cheerfully to the north of the lotus leaves.

 

POEM #4: 悯农 (mǐn nóng / Compassion For The Farmers)

Period: Tang Dynasty | Author: 李绅 (Li Shen)

锄禾日当午,汗滴禾下土。谁知盘中餐,粒粒皆辛苦。

(chú hé rì dāng wǔ, hàn dī hé xià tǔ. shéi zhī pán zhōng cān, lì lì jiē xīn kǔ.)

Translation: Weeding in the paddy under the midday sun, Sweat dripping into the soil. Does anyone know the meal on the plate, Each grain comes with labor.)

 

More poems coming soon…