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!
Free with membership or admission. Chinese New Year is the most popular time to visit the garden. Plan for the best visit by purchasing your tickets ahead of time and arriving early for your favorite activities.
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;
Chinese New Year lasts for 15 days, and each day is packed with things to see and do. Download the full calendar of events here to start planning your visit.
Traditional lantern viewings close out Chinese New Year festivities, when the garden glows with hanging red lanterns and the lake reflects the light of large illuminated lantern sculptures. A dragon procession and special performances are all a part of these special evenings.
239 Northwest Everett Street, Portland, Oregon 97209
Call Us: 503.228.8131
Lan Su Chinese Garden
220 NW 2nd Avenue, Suite 1050, Portland, Oregon 97209
Members, donors and visitors help keep Lan Su healthy and growing. Lan Su is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and all donations and memberships are tax deductible. Lan Su’s Federal Tax ID number (EIN) is 93-1296840.