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Chinese poem illustration: 鹿柴 The Deer Fence by Wang Wei

YouTube above not applicable? watch full video at Bilibili: 鹿柴

One of the 40 poems on an extremely famous painting(辋川图), the first kind artwork in Chinese history : 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 is on a temple wall, which located in Wang river, or wheel river, where Wang Wei and his mother buried, depicted 20 view spots within Wang river(辋川, spelled as Wangchuan), 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 most 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 small creek today), looking up to the giant ginkgo tree planted by Wang Wei, the only relic of that temple with the 辋川图, it seems to me the poem is crystal clear, simple, peaceful and eternal.

鹿柴
王维

空山不见人,
但闻人语响。
返景入深林,
复照青苔上。

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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