This is a translation and annotation of the poem 鹿柴 (Lù Zhài), “The Deer Enclosure”, by the Tang dynasty poet 王維 (Wang Wei). The poem is #224 in the collection 300 Tang Poems, and is also known by its first line: 空山不見人 (Kōng Shān Bù Jiàn Rén).
The Deer Enclosure
Kōngshān bùjiàn rén,
[empty] [mountain] [not] [see] [person]
In the empty mountain, one does not see people,
dàn wén rén yǔ xiǎng.
[yet] [hear] [person] [voice] [sound]
yet one hears the sound of human voice.
Fǎn jǐng rù shēnlín,
[reflect] [sunlight] [enter] [deep] [forest]
Reflected sunlight enters a deep forest,
fù zhào qīngtái shàng.
[again] [shine] [luscious,green] [moss] [on]
and comes to shine on luscious, green moss.
青 isn’t just ‘green’; it often refers to youth and vitality as well.
If you notice a mistake or disagree with the translation, please comment below to improve this resource.
- 300 Tang Poems (Waters, Farman, Lunde)
- Fifty Five T’ang Poems (Hugh M. Stimson)
- Poems of the Late T’ang (A. C. Graham)
- Translation of 鹿柴 into English at China Page
- Translation of 鹿柴 into English by 南緯28°
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