Duilian Verse

In Chinese poetry, duìlián is a pair of lines that adhere to certain rules. (Although the form is ofter referred to as an antithetical couplet, it might be more appropriate to consider it a written form of counterpoint.) The two lines have a one-to-one correspondence in their metrical length, and each pair of characters must have certain corresponding properties, like tone and pitch. A couplet is ideally profound yet concise, using one character per word in the style of Classical Chinese.

Outside of poems, they are usually seen on the sides of doors leading to people's homes or hanging in an interior as scrolls. A special type of couplet is the spring couplet (chūnlián) used as a New Year's decoration that expresses happiness and hopeful thoughts for the coming year.

A Duilian Verse

First line creates the pattern;
Second serves as counterpoint.

Classical Chunlian Verse


Show out harsh winter's bluster;
Usher in gentle spring's caress.


When the tiger has withdrawn,
Then the rabbit will come out.


Rabbit retreats, fields lie fallow;
Dragon advances, rains soon follow.


Winter's white blanket gets folded away;
Springtime's green carpet spreads farther each day.


When Snake sheds its skin,
Then Horse gallops in.


When Sheep comes this way,
Then Horse trots away.


Monkey scampers as winter departs;
Rooster crows when spring arrives.

Aelia: a Jueju Verse

Aelia lost her four teeth

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