Wang Wei: Fields and Gardens Above the Qi River

Fields and Gardens Above the Qi River

淇 上 即 事 田 园
屏 居 淇 水 上
东 野 旷 无 山。
日 隐 桑 柘 外
河 明 闾 井 间。
牧 童 望 村 去
猎 犬 随 人 还。
静 者 亦 何 事?
荆 扉 乘 昼 关。

 

Qi Shang Ji Shi Tian Yuan

Bing ju qi shui shang
Dong ye kuang wu shan.
Ri yin sang zhe wai
He ming lu jing jian.

Mu tong wang cun qu
Lie quan sui ren huan.
Jing zhe yi he shi ?
Jing fei cheng zhou guan.

 

Fields and Gardens Above the Qi River

Retired from active life above the Qi River
To the east, wide open country with no mountains.
Sun setting behind mulberry trees
Colors on the river separates the neighborhoods.

Shepherd boys heading back to the village
Hunting dogs return upon command.
What is the task for this person of quietude and stillness?
To take advantage of the bramble gate being closed for the night.

 

Notes:

Qi River: Located in northern Henan province.

Bramble gate: Literally a gate made of cheap and gathered materials nearby.  Also a metaphor for a life of simplicity, modest means, and rural seclusion.  When the gate is closed for the night, there will be no outside visitors expected.  The hard-working locals and their animals have all gone to bed. It is now time for Wang Wei to paint and write poetry.

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