Du Xunhe Poem: The Young Pine – 杜荀鹤《小松》








[1] 刺头:这里指刚发出芽的小松树,顶着有刺的松塔,所以称为刺头。

[2] 蓬蒿:指蓬草和蒿草,一般长得比较高。

[3] 凌云木:这里指有凌云之高的树木。

The Young Pine

Du Xunhe

While young, the pine tree thrusts its head amid tall grass;

Now by and by we find it outgrow weed in mass.

People don’t realize it will grow to scrape the sky;

Seeing it tower in cloud, then they know it’s high.

The poet satirizes people’s lack of foresight.


Little Pine” is a seven-line poem written by Du Xunhe, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The first line of this poem outlines the characteristics of the pine’s appearance. The second line is about the great change of the pine. In the third and fourth lines, the poem turns to a deep sigh of contempt: those who do not know the “people of the time” are vulgar, foolish and short-sighted people. This is a small poem that uses pine to write about people, and uses it as a metaphor. The language of the poem is concise, subtle and philosophical.

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