According to Chinese tradition, garden landscape without poetry is not complete. Luckily, Lan Su is graced with a wealth of poetic inscriptions! Chinese gardens in China and Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland are filled with poetic inscriptions as text, calligraphy, engravings and plaques. Poetry is one of the five elements, along with rocks, architecture, water, and plants, necessary for a comprehensive Chinese garden and is often presented in the form of the calligraphic inscriptions painted on horizontal and vertical plaques or carved into stone.
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 poetry series featuring local and regional poets all month long!
Create your own couplet and submit by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Learn more »
Inscribed by Fei Zhixiong, Number Three Descendant of the Left-Handed, Suzhou
Inscribed by Wang Jiansheng of Reverence Studio, Suzhou
Original translations sourced from Charles Wu's Listen to the Fragrance (2006)
Community Poetry Resources