Asian Poetry

Tony Rodriguez - English II Honors - 4/28/15

Chinese Poem

I Built My House Near Where Others Dwell

By: T'ao Ch'ien

I built my house near where others dwell,

And yet there is no clamor of carriages and


You ask me ''How can this be so?''

''When the heart is far the place of itself is distant.''

I pluck chrysanthemums under the easter hedge,

And gaze afar towards the southern mountains.

The mountain air is fine at evening of the day

And flying birds return together homewards.

Within these things there is a hint of Truth,

But when I start to tell it, I cannot find the words.

Why I Chose This Poem

I chose this poem for the reason that this poem appealed to my aesthetics. This poem comes off very airy, calm and peaceful. It paints an imagery of a bloodless environment.


The poem ''I Built My House Near Where Others Dwell'' includes a man that isolates himself from society, however he's surrounded by nature. With his surroundings, he's able to become closer to nature due to the absence of society's clamor. The general message is that isolation is good, in terms of self-knowing.

Literary Elements

  • Metaphors are included, such as the lines, ''Within these things there is a hint of Truth.'' These things being nature and the truth as the human connection to nature.
  • Alliteration- Clamor of carriage
  • Onomatopoeia- Clamor

Art to Art

''I pluck chrysanthemums under the easter hedge,

And gaze afar towards the southern mountains.

The mountain air is fine at evening of the day.'' This scene exerts an image of the natural surroundings of T'ao Chi'en's home.

Painting Info

  • Handmade item
  • Size: 9 x 14 inches
  • Materials: acid free heavyweight fine art paper, archival pigment inks
  • Artist- unknown
Spongebob Squarepants: Texas Song

This song connects to the poem ''I Built My House Near Where Others Dwell'' because both entail the descriptions of their homes. Both describe there home as a surreal environment of peace. Although the song puts more emphasis in the desire of going home, while the poem involves more appreciation of his surroundings; both still the idea of home and one's surroundings.

Video (Wanna Go Home) Info
  • Singer- Sandy Cheeks
  • Source- Youtube

Japanese Poem


By: Kobayashi Issa

Beautiful, seen through holes

Made in a paper screen:

The Milky Way.

Far-off mountain peaks

Reflected in its eyes:

The dragonfly.

A world of dew:

Yet within the dewdrops-


With blatant serenity

Gazing at the far hills:

A tiny frog

Why I Chose This poem

I chose this poem because when I read it seemed to have a deep meaning behind. It has imagery that adds a layer to the poem that gives it more. Also, the poem was mystifying with its questionable ending to each stanzas. I chose poem to delve deeper into the meaning of this poem.


The poem dissects the beauties of the world. Beginning with the ''paper screen'' as the fabric of existence and moves along to the Milky Way. To mountains that are reflected from a dragonfly's eyes. The general theme of the poem could be interpreted as that life, although vast, can be brought back to the small things in life, such as the dragonfly.

Literary Elements:

  • There seems to be a rhyme scheme, but it isn't constant. The rhyme scheme skips lines.
  • ''Yet within the dewdrops-quarrels.'' This is a contradicting concept that, although in the general world the author describes it as peaceful, yet in the world in the dewdrop there bellows issues.
Pink Matter - Frank Ocean (Chrissy cover)
A relation that is between these two works of art are that both question or delve into existence. Like in the poem, the song delves into philosophical views of why are certain concepts of life the way they are.

Video (Pink Matter) Info

  • Song Writer- Frank Ocean
  • Cover Singer- Chrissy
  • Source- Youtube
  • Rather than choosing the original song, this cover contained no explicit language.