A quick and simple poem about morning dew.

Learn to Read Mandarin: Simplified Chinese Poems StudyThe author used a turn of phrase here which might be slightly confusing: 打湿. Most commonly, we know the word 打 as “to hit” or “to strike”. 湿 shī means “wet” or “moist”. Put these two words together, and 打湿 means “to get something wet” or to moisten.

Though the title of the poem is “Dewdrops” – 露珠 – you’ll notice that the actual word is never mentioned in the poem.


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草地 – cǎo dì – Meadow
珍珠 – zhēn zhū – Pearl
草丛 – cǎo cóng – Underbrush
湿 – shī – Moist, wet
泥土- ní tǔ – soil, earth

Last night,
Who walked up from the meadow?
[They] lost so many pearls.
This morning,
Who was watching me from the underbrush?
[They] made damp my trousers.
The sun is high,
who left with the pearls?
[They] left behind them dewy breath,
and wet soil.

13 comments to "Poem: Dewdrops"

  1. I love this poem! thank you for inspiring!

  2. First, thanks so much for posting these. I’m hoping you can help me with some variation in interpretation. Basically, are these translations also correct or too far removed from the original?

    I was wondering if:


    “Who came from the meadow //
    leaving behind so many pearls”;


    谁在草丛中看着我: “Who watched me from the underbrush”


    In context could it be: “As the sun rises//
    who took (is taking) the pearls?”


    “Leaving behind dewy breath//
    and wet soil”

    Thanks again!

    • I think, from my understanding of Hanyu, 了 (le) signifies a completed action thus “太阳升高了” means the sun is risen, so it is high. “Is taking” would also be incorrect as that would require an indication of something taking place, not 了.

  3. This is cute. Thanks !

  4. Wow. That poem is beautiful!!! One of the best poems I ever read.

  5. I started reading the top 300 Chinese characters and realised I need something more creative than mechanical to inspire me.

    Being a poet , I found the poem my first step to better reading Chinese.

    Thank you

  6. Reply Millard Waltz says: December 3, 2014 at 5:44 am

    This is a lovely little poem. In addition, it contained a character I’ve been trying to learn this week (shi1, wet/damp). Thank you!

  7. Reply Prabhat Gokul says: April 4, 2015 at 2:05 am

    This a fantastic tool!

    I’m studying Chinese at university and am trying to create a blog that helps students read the passages from our textbook.

    I would like to integrate the Mandarin Spot popup dictionary like you have. Would you be able to share with me how you integrated it into your site?

    Thank you so much!!

  8. This poem is better than my name’s poem! Poen agowem is my name. Agowem, I mea. But I don’t understand what Dewdropss has to do with the dewy breath or the pearls things. Is the pearl things the dewdrops? OOH! Understand now.

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