Ode to Green by Bing Xin ~ 冰心 《绿之歌》 with English Translations


冰心 《绿之歌》

















Ode to Green
Bing Xin

When I was child I lived by the sea. Before me, as far as the eye could see, was the boundless deep blue ocean; behind was light-yellow farmland.

At that time, half my world was blue. For me, blue always symbolized vastness, profundity, solemnity…
I seldom ever paid attention to any other colour.

When I moved from the sea to the city you could say I was “dazzled by a riot of colour,” but in fact all I saw was a motley dullness.

I began to yearn for a patch of red to lift my spirits.

So I went to the Western Hills in search of the red leaves of the maple forests. But the gaudy hues flickering before my eyes were the “tide of autumn about to ebb” and would soon be blown away by the north wind.

Downcast and perplexed, I peered at the fallen red leaves which filled the mountains and valleys, and as my thoughts wandered my mood gradually became one of elation!

I thought, “The fallen red leaves are not merely inanimate matter”; they would mingle with the spring mud to nurture a new generation.

At that moment there suddenly appeared before my eyes a vision of green. One year, in winter, I had returned to my hometown, travelling by car on a highway to the southern border of our country. The small car wound its way over hill and dale, both sides of the road thickly wooded with towering green foliage; pines, cypresses and emerald bamboo. And there were many other trees whose names I did not know. The varied green of the trees were set off by a luxuriant carpet of scented lawn. I was cocooned in “green.” From delighted surprise I entered a state of pleasant calm. I was quietly, happily intoxicated in the midst of this all-encompassing green.

I am deeply aware of what “green” symbolizes: the rich spring light, the vigour of youth, lofty ideals, fervent aspirations…

Green is the springtime of life.

Individuals, societies, states, peoples, and mankind itself, all have their time of youth.

I wish to present this “Ode to Green” to the young people who are living in our motherland, herself in the period of youth.

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