Wang Wei — Jinzhu Ridge

Jinzhu Ridge

Wang Wei

701-761 CE
(translated by William P. Coleman)

A wingceltis and a goldenrain shine, alone, at the bend —
fresh and green, they flutter, rippling.

In secret, I enter the Shang Hill road;
the woodcutter couldn’t know.

I found the Chinese text and an English translation of this poem — along with the word-by-word literal translation I used to create this one — at Chinese Poems.

The grammar of Chinese allows poets to leave interpretive choices open, and it’s an unattainable ideal of translating to bring out possibilities without closing others. I try to use my sense of English to at least intrigue you. If I’ve succeeded, it’s best — even if you don’t know Chinese, which I don’t either — to follow up at the source I cite above and see the original word-by-word translation from which I worked. It’ll be richer than what I’ve given you. To understand the poem best, try to construct your own translation.

See the FAQ and the external links at Chinese Poems, a beautiful resource with many poems.

Wingceltis trees

Goldenrain trees


more Chinese poetry translations in this blog More Chinese poetry translations in this blog.
more Chinese poetry translations in this blog Home page for my Wang Wei translations.

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