Top 5 Chinese Poems for Learning Chinese

Posted by Lilian Li on 25/04/2016 11:14 PM 780

Poetry deeply embodies the basic spirit of Chinese culture. Poetry is the art of language and is China’s national spirit; Chinese literature has been active for more than 3,000 years, and is the most important and brilliant part of Chinese culture.

Today we will see the top 5 Chinese poems about the moon, spring, friendship and snow...

Jìnɡ yè sī
1. 静 夜 思

chuánɡ qián mínɡ yuè ɡuānɡ,
床 前 明 月 光 ,
yí shì dì shànɡ shuānɡ。
疑 是 地 上 霜 。
jǔ tóu wànɡ mínɡ yuè,
举 头 望 明 月,
dī tóu sī ɡù xiānɡ。
低 头 思 故 乡 。

English version:

A Silent Night
Before my bed, I see the silver light,
I wonder that if there were frost around here.
I looked up, I find that light comes from the moon;
I bowed my head, and felt homesick.


This is a poem about peoples’ home sickness. There is no noise outdoors and indoors, only the bright moonlight shining on the bed. It looks like frost on the floor. The lone wanderer looked up at the moon and bowed his heads to think of his home. This poem reflects the homesickness of wanderers’ and their feelings while travelling.

2. 春晓

chūn mián bú jué xiǎo,
春 眠 不 觉 晓 ,
chù chù wén tí niǎo。
处 处 闻 啼 鸟 。
yè lái fēnɡ yǔ shēnɡ,
夜 来 风 雨 声 ,
huā luò zhī duō shǎo。
花 落 知 多 少 。

English version:

I don’t wanna wake up in a beautiful spring morning;
I can hear the singing of the birds everywhere;
Last night I heard the sound of wind and rain;
So many flowers fallen down, we can just sigh about it.


It is a spring night. The person doesn’t want to wake up because of a good dream. They can hear the birds chirping outside the window, and it seems to have rained last night. Fallen petals cover the courtyard, and the person is sad that spring will soon end.

zènɡ wānɡlún
3. 赠 汪伦

Lǐbái chénɡ zhōu jiānɡ yù xínɡ,
李白 乘 舟 将 欲 行 ,
hū wén àn shànɡ tà ɡē shēnɡ。
忽 闻 岸 上 踏 歌 声 。
táo huā tán shuǐ shēn qiān chǐ,
桃 花 潭 水 深 千 尺 ,
bù jí wānɡlún sònɡ wǒ qínɡ。
不及 汪伦 送 我 情 。

English version:

I was about to leave by a boat;
Suddenly, we heard the singing on the bank;
Even though the Peach Blossom Pool is a thousand feet deep;
It cannot compare with my friendship with Wang Lun.


Li Bai is going to leave by boat, and suddenly hears a farewell song after departing. The poem expresses a deep friendship.

yè yǔ jì běi
4. 夜雨寄北

jūn wèn ɡuī qī wèi yǒu qī,
君 问 归 期 未 有 期,
bā shān yè yǔ zhǎnɡ qiū chí。
巴 山 夜 雨 涨 秋 池。
hé dānɡ ɡònɡ jiǎn xī chuānɡ zhú,
何 当 共 剪 西 窗 烛,
què huà bā shān yè yǔ shí。
却 话 巴 山 夜 雨 时 。

English version:

You asked me when I will come back. Sorry, I don’t know.
I had a dream about that the mountains and autumn pools brimming all night with the rain.
When shall we together trim wicks in the western window?
When I will hear your voice again? The night in the rain?


This poem is written to the wife of a poet when he was in Ba Shu. It expresses his strong lonely feelings and how much he misses his wife. Another possible translation is: “You always ask me when I will go home, but I don't have a fixed time. There was a heavy rain last night and the rain has filled with pool. When you and I can be together again, we must have a talk together under the west window where you always sit; then let’s talk today’s scene.”
5. 江雪

qiān shān niǎo fēi jué,
千 山 鸟 飞 绝,
wàn jìnɡ rén zōnɡ miè。
万 径 人 踪 灭。
ɡū zhōu suō lì wēnɡ,
孤 舟 蓑 笠 翁 ,
dú diào hán jiānɡ xuě。
独 钓 寒 江 雪。

English version:

All birds just vanished in the mountain;
As well as all the human tracks;
Only one person with a hat of bamboo standing in a boat;
Fishing a lone by the side of the snowy river.


This is a snow figure in a river. The mountains are covered by snow and everything is white. Everything else is empty as well; no birds are chirping and nothing else interesting to see. There are no people, nor are there any tracks visible from people walking through that area. There is only a lonesome boat in the river, and an old fisherman wearing a hat, who is sitting alone on the boat and fishing.

About The Author

Lilian Li

Lilian has a master’s degree in linguistics and didactics from Rennes University in France. An expert in linguistics and educational psychology, she has taught Chinese as a foreign language for several years, primarily in France. Her classes follow a logical and thorough path to ensure students build a methodology of learning that will continue to help them improve their language ability. She likes jogging, swimming, partying, and hang out with friends! Learn Chinese online with Lilian Li >>