Viewing My Garden

Yan, Shu (991 A.D.-1055 A.D.)

    The blossoms are sparse 1 along the garden path. The luscious green 2 extends all over the countryside. The trees cast their shadows on the high platform 3. The spring wind 4 does not know how to prevent the mist-like poplar flowers 5 from blowing on pedestrians’ faces. Orioles hide in green leaves. Swallows are kept out by the red curtain. The fragrance of the incense burner 6 quietly pursues the swirling tendrils of smoke. When I awaken from sorrowful dreams and a drunken state, the slanting sunshine 7 illuminates the far-reaching yard with dense trees 8.

1 "The blossoms are sparse" means "Good men are few".

2 "Green leaves" refers to evil people.

3 "The high platform" refers to "the emperor's court".

4 "The spring wind" refers to the emperor.

5 "Poplar flowers" refers to flattery or slander.

6 "The incense burner" refers to the melancholy pent-up in one's mind.

7 "The slanting sunshine" refers to incompetence.

8 "The far-reaching yard with dense trees" refers to difficult and unsolved problems.