Wang Wei Poems: The Rapids – 王维《栾家濑》













The Rapids

In rustling autumn rain

Water on pebbles dashes,

And starts the egret when

It sprinkles into splashes.



“The Rapids” is a five-line poem written by Wang Wei, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The first two lines of the poem create a leisurely painting of a shallow stream flowing briskly over the rocks on a stormy autumn day; the second two lines write about the interesting scene where the streams collide with each other and scare the egrets in the water, causing them to fly up and fall down. The poem is purely descriptive, and although there is no direct expression of emotion in any of the lines, every description of the scene is suffused with a light and elegant air, and there is a clear and tranquil beauty in reading it.

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