Back To Nature (1)

Never attuned to worldly affairs

My inborn nature longing for mountain air

Being caught up in an earthly web, however

30 years have vanished into thin air

A caged bird lingers about familiar woods

Small pond fish never swim far from the hook

Plowing a patch of wasteland on the southern nook

I finally retreat to nature for a garden-field outlook

A few thatched huts are put up on acres of flat

Elms and willows shading the back

Peaches and plums greeting at the front

A village afar coming into view

Wisps of chimney smoke rising above the field

Dog-barks can be heard from deep alleys, roosters crow in mulberry trees

My patio is clear of clutter

The mind free for fond dreams

Being in a cage for too long

Now I am back to nature loving it

~ Translated by Dot, from Tao Yuanming’s “Back to Nature (Part One),” a series of ‘Field and Garden’ poems written in the Six Dynasties period


~ 陶淵明 (東晉末至南北朝) 《歸園田居 其一》