Couplet Poetry Activity

In Lan Su Chinese Garden, there is poetry everywhere you look—carved into rocks, inside and outside buildings and located above every doorway. Many of the poems are two-lined poems called couplets. These couplets often describe nature. In this exercise you will get a chance to write your own couplet inspired by the beauty and nature of Lan Su Chinese Garden. In China, adults and children of all ages spend time creating and writing poetry their entire life. We encourage you and your family to take time to create your own poems!  

Included with Lan Su  membership or admission; no registration required.

Couplet Submission Process

Create your own couplet and submit by email to All couplet submissions will be reviewed by a poetry panel and your couplet might be chosen to hang on the poetry arch at Lan Su during the month of April. Your couplet may also be posted here along side other select submissions and via social media. We would appreciate if you would include your name and location, but you are also welcome to submit anonymously. Please let us know if you prefer to not have your couplet displayed publicly or if you would like to remain anonymous.

What is a Couplet Poem?

A couplet poem is a short two line poem often containing 15 words or less in each line. The lines are traditionally called the “head” for the first line and the “tail” for the second line. Each line should mirror each other with same number of descriptive words (five, six or eight words). It is important that each line balance and be constructed with a similar sentence structure. The words within each line are carefully chosen so they reflect as well as contrast each other.

Here is an example of a couplet poem by poet Wang Wei:

Head: Walk and reach the place where the stream ends.

Tail: Sit to watch the moment when clouds form.

See if you can create your own “tail” for the couplet poem examples below:

Head: When the breeze breaks, the flowers dance spontaneously;


Head: The pavilion and terrace near the water first gets the moon;


Now try creating your very own couplet!

Upcoming Couplet Poetry Activity

Saturday, April 1, 2017 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Saturday, April 8, 2017 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Saturday, April 15, 2017 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Saturday, April 22, 2017 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Saturday, April 29, 2017 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Poetry Month


This April, learn about the poetry in Lan Su Chinese Garden as well as the historical and aesthetic traditions of poetry in Suzhou-style Chinese gardens with workshops, tours, and multiple poetry series. According to Chinese tradition, a garden landscape without poetry is not complete. Luckily, Lan Su is graced with a wealth of poetic inscriptions! Classical Chinese gardens – including Lan Su – are filled with poetic inscriptions as text, calligraphic ensembles, engravings and plaques. Poetry is one of the five elements, along with rocks, architecture, water, and plants, necessary for a comprehensive Chinese garden. Learn about Lan Su’s poetic couplets and inscriptions all month long with workshops, tours and poetry series featuring local and regional poets.

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Become a Member

As a member, you and a guest may visit as frequently as you like. Enjoy discounts on Lantern Viewing tickets and other special events, discounts in the Teahouse and Garden Shop plus so much more.

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Plant Guide

Discover what's currently in bloom at Lan Su by picking up a copy of Lan Su's most recent Bloom Guide at the door or download your copy now. Featuring 16 of the most fragrant or most beautiful plants in the garden, the Plant Guide is your window into Lan Su's horticultural landscape.

Plant Guides by Season:

Spring Plant Guide — Download your copy now (PDF, 764 KB) »

Spring/Summer Plant Guide — Download your copy now (PDF, 561 KB) »

Summer Plant Guide — Download your copy now (PDF, 542 KB) »

Fall Plant Guide — Download your copy now (PDF, 537 KB) »

Winter Plant Guide — Download your copy now (PDF, 515 KB) »