Tao Yuanming Poems: Reply to Liu, Prefect of Chaisang – 陶渊明《酬刘柴桑》













Reply to Liu, Prefect of Chaisang

Living unsociable behind closed gate,

I care not how four seasons circulate.

When I see fallen leaves along the way,

I sigh for the coming of autumn day.

Gloomy marrows at northern wall vibrate,

And paddy fields in the south undulate.

If I do not enjoy delight, then how

Can I know next year as happy as now?

So I tell wife and children to go out

To climb a hill or wander thereabout.


The poem “Reply to Liu, Prefect of Chaisang” is a poem written by Tao Yuanming, a literary scholar in the Jin and Song dynasties, who sings harmony with Liu Chaisang. Although the poem is full of negative thoughts, it is full of the joy of idyllic life in its simplicity and purity. The poem is short and simple, fresh and elegant, with the characteristics of ancient style.

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