Proverbs and Poems in Heavy Snow
Watching the Scenery at Twilight
By Yang Wanli (Song Dynasty)
The tenth month is called little spring, while there is no sign of spring,
This solar term is called “Major Snow”, but where is the snow?
The sunset cares nothing about the darkness of the west mountain,
It only shines on the east hills.
About the poet:
Yang Wanli(1127-1206), nicknamed Yanxiu, a.k.a. as Chengzhai, was born in Jishui of Jizhou prefecture (in modern-day Jiangxi province). He was a great poet in the Southern Song Dynasty. In his life, he wrote more than twenty thousand poems, though only a small number of them are left today. It is said that all the poems he wrote before his thirty-fifth birthday were burned by himself. He liked to read and write poems when he was young, and at the beginning, he learned from the poems written by famous poets. His early poems were full of exquisite phrases and literary quotation, but without his own style. To change it, Yang gathered all his poems and burned them all. After that, he went into nature frequently and talked to the common people. He observed the details of daily life and recorded his own feelings about the natural scenery and his concerns about the country with his own words. To make his poems clear and simple, he used colloquial words in his poems. Gradually, he formed his own style and had a deep influence on later poetry.
The poet is also famous for his love of tea. Even when he was sick, he would have seven or eight bowls of tea every day. He drank so much tea at night that he couldn’t sleep, but he still could not give it up.