A Summer Garden Poem by Gao Pian

This Chinese poem that celebrates summer is interpreted by Crystal Tai.

山亭夏日 A Summer Day at a Pavilion in the Mountains
作者: 高骈  Author: Gao, Pian (821-887)

绿树蔭濃夏日長 Summer day lengthens under shady green trees
楼台倒影入池塘 The pond reflects pavilions and terraces
水晶帘动微風起 Crystal-bead curtains flicker with the rise of a breeze
满架蔷薇一院香 Full arches of climbing roses fill the garden with fragrances

About the Poet: Gao succeeded his father's position as a general, serving in the military during the last years of Tang Dynasty. When an enormous group of rebels attacked the capital Chang-An, the emperor sent a message to Gao, ordering him to bring troops to Chang-An to fight the rebels. But in fear of the formidable rebels, Gao stayed where he was. Some historians therefore associate the demise of Tang Dynasty with Gao. Although Gao's integrity as a general was questionable, the quality of his writing is undeniable. The poem above especially remains timeless.

Editor's note: Crystal Tai is a regular Patch contributor whose book A Poetic Portal to Chinese Culture can be purchased on Amazon. This is an excerpt from her book used with her permission.

Chris Zhang July 01, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Being able to read the original Chinese text, I must say this is SUPERB translation
Anne Ernst July 02, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Chris, that's so nice of you to say. Crystal is an excellent writer and very creative, too.
Crystal Tai July 02, 2012 at 06:58 AM
Thank you very much, Chris and Anne!


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