访杨云卿淮上别业 Visit Yang Yunqing’s villa by the Huai River
惠崇 （Author: Hui Chong, 10th century)
地近得频到， place close can frequently arrive
相携向野亭。 each other carry go toward wild temple
河分冈势断， river divide mountain tendency break
春入烧痕青。 spring enter burn trace green
望久人收钓， look long time people stop fishing
吟余鹤振翎。 chant after cranes flapping wing
不愁归路晚， not worry return path late
明月上前汀。 bright moon shines on front flat land beside the water
I can come often, to this nearby place,
And walk with you to the wilderness temple.
A river runs between the mountains
And the green grass of spring enters the burned out fields.
The fishermen have all gone home, and still, I’m taking in this view,
After I chanted my last poem, the cranes took flight.
I’m not worried about going home late
The bright moon lights the sandy shore.
This poem was written by Hui Chong, a monk in the Northern Song Dynasty who is known for his poems and paintings portraying small landscapes. Chinese poets sometimes borrow symbols and concepts from the great works of the past. This poem and Bai Juyi’s famous poem Grass, which we’ve also translated, both use grass as a symbol of renewal — it returns even after being destroyed by fire. The underlying feelings in the poems are very different, though. Bai’s Grass is vivid and dynamic, and uses the wild grass as a metaphor for his own “unending feelings.” Hui’s poem is tranquil. Instead of projecting his feelings onto nature, he immerses himself so much in the beauty of his surroundings that he didn’t want to return home.