Chinese poem illustration: 鹿柴/ The Deer Fence by Wang Wei

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One of the 40 poems on a very famous painting Wangchuan(辋川图), the first kind artwork in Chinese history: a fusion of poetry and painting. It laid the cornerstone for Scholar Painting(文人画) which featured with scholar life in mountains and rivers, as well as poems on painting.

This long painting by Wang Wei was on a temple wall, which located in Wang river/Wangchuan(辋川), or Wheel river, where Wang Wei and his mother were buried, depicted 20 view spots within Wang river, with 40 poems written by Wang Wei and his good friend Pei Di(裴迪), one poem for one view spot per person. The collection of these 40 poems was named as Wangchuan Ji(辋川集). It could be the mostly translated Chinese classic poetry in foreign languages.

This short ,simple and very subtle poem was interpreted in many ways through the history, yet when I stepped on the ground of Wangchuan, or Wang river(a valley with much smaller creek today), looking up to the giant ginkgo tree planted by Wang Wei, which is the only relic of that temple with the 辋川图, it seems to me the poem is crystal clear, simple, peaceful and eternal.



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