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Classical Chinese

224 王維 鹿柴 translation: The Deer Enclosure, by Wang Wei

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) translations”). 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).

鹿柴 Lù Zhài [deer] [enclosure] The Deer Enclosure

空山不見人, Kōngshān bùjiàn rén, [empty] [mountain] [not] [see] [person] In the empty mountain, one does not see people,

但聞人語響。 dàn wén rén yǔ xiǎng. [yet] [hear] [person] [voice] [sound] yet one hears the sound of human voice.

返景入深林, Fǎn jǐng rù shēnlín, [reflect] [sunlight] [enter] [deep] [forest] Reflected sunlight enters a deep forest,

復照青苔上。 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.

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