“Delighting in Rain on a Spring Night” – A Poem by the Chinese Poet Du Fu

Du Fu, also known as Tu Fu (712-770), is one of the best-known poets of China. Many of his poems are about nature and the seasons.

Here’s Delighting in Rain on a Spring Night in simplified Chinese and with an English translation by Brendan O’Kane. After the translation, I posted the traditional Chinese text.

春夜喜雨
Delighting in Rain on a Spring Night

杜甫
Dù Fǔ

好雨知时节,
A good rain knows its proper time;
当春乃发生。
It waits until the Spring to fall.
随风潜入夜,
It drifts in on the wind, steals in by night,
润物细无声。
Its fine drops drench, yet make no sound at all.
野径云俱黑,
The paths between the fields are cloaked with clouds;
江船火独明。
A river-skiff’s lone light still burns.
晓看红湿处,
Come dawn, we’ll see splashes of wet red –
花重锦官城
The flowers in Chengdu*, weighed down with rain.

*Chengdu is now a large city in southern China. Du Fu lived in Chengdu for 4 years and composed over 200 poems there.

Here is the poem in traditional Chinese text:

春夜喜雨

好雨知時節,
當春乃發生。
隨風潛入夜,
潤物細無聲。
野徑雲俱黑,
將船火獨明。
曉看紅濕處,
花重錦官城。

Many thanks to Brendan O’Kane for letting me post his translation of this poem. Brendan is a translator living in Beijing. He also has a blog called Bokane.org. Check it out for translations of some other Chinese poems and general posts about Chinese culture and life in Beijing.

This article was posted on Monday, March 26th, 2007 at 1:47 pm and is filed under China, Chinese, Countries & Cultures, Du Fu, Languages, Poems, Poems about Spring, Poetry, Poetry about the Seasons, Poets, Taiwan, 春夜喜雨 Delighting in Rain on a Spring Night, 春夜喜雨 Delighting in Rain on a Spring Night. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to ““Delighting in Rain on a Spring Night” – A Poem by the Chinese Poet Du Fu”

  1. Peter Says:

    THANKS SO MUCH FOR THIS TRANSLATION!

    Love this poem and it helped me so much to translate it into German, so thank you really very much!

    Keep goin!

    PS: next time maybe s.th. from Lu You?

  2. Lisa Says:

    If you’d like to share your German translation – you’re welcome to post it here.

    If there are any specific Chinese poems you’re looking for – you can post your request here – and I can try to track it down. Or someone might answer your request on my blog.

    -Lisa

  3. Olivia Says:

    Hi, would that be possible to post the English explanation of this poem here? I need that deadly~~ thank you sooo much!

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