On the West Stream at Chuzhou by Wei Yingwu 滁州西涧 (韦应物)

Alone I like the riverside where green grass grows,

And golden orioles sing amid the leafy trees.

With spring showers at dusk, the river overflows;

A lonely boat athwart the ferry floats with ease.

独怜幽草涧边生,

上有黄鹂深树鸣。

春潮带雨晚来固

野渡无人舟自横.

This poem describes a peaceful and beautiful natural scene at dusk along a riverside between the mountains to express the poet’s quiet, leisurely and placid mood. The “secluded grasses” and “thick trees;’ build a deep and tranquil atmosphere without any disturbance. The singing of orioles adds happy vitality to this quiet picture. The spring rain makes the river flow rapidly and the still scene is thus made lively. The poet also gives the reason why “no one at the wild ferry crossing’’,“The ferry boat lays across by itself’ is the result of “no one at the wild ferry crossing,” which is not only logical, true to life and natural, but also brings the readers back to the still scene and makes them feel strongly the secluded and peaceful atmosphere.

The whole poem is a landscape painting without the appearance of any figure. It does not contain the poet’s subjective feelings. The poet, in a simple, straightforward style of writing, displays the beauty of nature with which his readers feel intoxicated.

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