Tao Yuanming: Imitate the Ancients: Nine Poems: No. 6

Imitate the Ancients: Nine Poems: No. 6

拟 古:九 首
苍 苍 谷 中 树
冬 夏 常 如 兹。
年 年 见 霜 雪
谁 谓 不 知 时?
厌 闻 世 上 语
结 友 到 临 淄。
稷 下 多 谈 士
指 彼 决 吾 疑。
装 束 既 有 日
已 与 家 人 辞。
行 行 停 出 欺
还 坐 更 自 思。
不 畏 道 里 长
但 畏 人 我 欺。
万 一 不 合 意
永 为 世 笑 嗤。
伊 怀 难 其 道
为 君 作 此 诗。


Ni Gu: Jiu Shou


Cang cang gu zhong shu
Dong xia chang ru zi.
Nian nian jian shuang xue
Shei wei bu zhi shi ?

Yan wen shi shang you
Jie you dao lin zi.
Ji xia duo tan shi
Zhi bi jue wu yi.

Zhuang shu ji you ri
Yi you jia ren ci.
Xing xing ting chu men
Huan zuo geng zi si.

Bu wei dao li chang
Dan wei ren wo qi.
Wan yi bu he yi
Yong wei shi xiao chi.
Yi huai nan qi dao
Wei jun zuo ci shi


Imitate the Ancients: Nine Poems: No. 6

Endless and dense valley between the trees
Winter and summer always constant.
Every year see the frost and snow
Who says I don’t know the seasons?

Pains me to hear the words of the world
So I am going to my friend in Linzi.
In Jixia many scholars tell their stories
I want to go there to dispel remaining doubts.

For some time I have finished packing for the journey
Already gave leave to all family and friends.
Starting to walk away from home, then stop
Go back, sit down consider my deepest thoughts.

No fear that my hometown is so remote
Just fear that these people may try to deceive me.
Eventually realize they are not of the same mind as me
Forever, they will laugh and sneer at my life.
The pathway of my heart-mind difficult to explain
So I write this poem for you.



Linzi: Originally called Yin Qiu, it was the capital city of the Qi nation during the Eastern Zhou dynasty in Shandong Province.  During the Spring and Autumn period (770-476 BC), it was one of the largest and wealthiest Chinese city.

Jixia: Name of the learning academy in Linzi (ca. 315-285 BC).  It was the largest center of learning in China of its time.  State-sponsored support insured its activities.  Some of the famous scholars included Mencius, Xunzi, and perhaps even Zhuangzi.

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