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Return to My Fields 归园田居

The poem describes what the poet thinks and feels about after his resigning from the official post, working as a peasantat the foot of the southern hill.

Guī Yuán Tián Jū
归 园 田 居

Táo Yuānmíng (Jìn )

Zhòng dòu nán shān xià,

种 豆 南 山 下,

cǎo shèng dòu miáo xī.
草 盛 豆 苗 稀。

Chén xīng lǐ huāng huì,
晨 兴 理 荒 秽,

dài yuè hé chú guī.
带 月 荷 锄 归。

Dào xiá cǎo mù cháng,
道 狭 草 木 长,

xī lù zhān wǒ yī.
夕 露 沾 我 衣。

Yī zhān bù zú xī,
衣 沾 不 足 惜,

dàn shǐ yuàn wú wéi.
但 使 愿 无 违。

Return to My Fields

Tao Yuanming(Jin)

Under the southern hill I grow the pea and bean,

For the weeds the tender shoots are sparse and lean.

With the sun I rise the weeds to remove,

In moonlight, shouldering a hoe, I homeward move.

The narrow path is overgrown with long grass,

The evening dews wet my clothes as I pass.

I'm not so much worried about my attire,

As being unable to follow my cherished desire.


Easy and plain to understand, the poem reveals how an intellectual official after leaving his governmental position relishes the freedom and serenity by living in seclusion and working in the field while worrying whether he will be able to stand the arduous fieldwork and keep his promise to stay away from officialdom for ever. As he lacks farming experience, weeds grow in his bean plot while the bean shoots are few and sparse. He even does not care whether the evening dewdrops wet his clothes, only hoping to keep his promise to live and farm in the countryside. 

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  [Editor:heipalagi   2014/07/09/]

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