Wang Wei Poems: The Deer Enclosure – 王维《鹿柴》










The Deer Enclosure

In pathless hills no man’s in sight,

But I still hear echoing sound.

In gloomy forest peeps no light,

But sunbeams slant on mossy ground.



The poem “The Deer Enclosure” is a poem by Wang Wei, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. This poem is about an empty mountain with few people and a forest of ancient trees. The first stanza firstly describes the empty mountain without any trace, focusing on the empty silence and coldness of the mountain; the second stanza immediately follows the realm, using the local and temporary “sound” to contrast the global and long-lasting empty silence; the third and fourth stanzas go from the description of the empty mountain in the previous frame to the description of the deep forest back to the light, from sound to color. The poem’s language is fresh and natural, using the technique of using movement to contrast with stillness and localization to contrast with the overall situation, permeating the Zen meaning into the vivid depiction of the natural scenery and creating a realm of emptiness and deep silence.

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